In the spirit of the traditional Lehigh / Lafayette rivalry week – I’m going to poke out an idea that will hopefully expand our competition into something a little healthier – and good for BOTH cities that neighbor our institutions: Bethlehem and Easton.
South Bethlehem has been successful at rebuilding the environment through creative ideas. Independent stores, restaurants and cultural institutions have brought a great sense of pride to the urban community neighboring our fine campus. Lehigh University does well when our surrounding community is healthy, vibrant and strong.
Lafayette College has a similar relationship to their city of Easton, PA. And like ours, the students of Lafayette often benefit from the creative and generous merchants of their local community. If you can travel to Easton this weekend – you might enjoy a particularly interesting community art project that will transform the town center, and invite a sense of play and wonder for all ages. The project is being led by local store (Mercantile Home) owners Ken Jones and Ron Morris.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road and will take place from November 11th through November 13th in downtown Easton. The project will transform downtown into the magical Land of Oz for the weekend with numerous Oz-inspired creations, including a 3,000 foot long yellow brick road drawn in chalk on the sidewalks along Northampton Street by community volunteers.
The organizers need many volunteers to help build this yellow brick road. It will be 3,000 feet long, and they have just over 24 hours to build it. Crayola has provided lots of chalk, so all that is needed is the creative people power. Anyone can be a part of this event, no matter what your age or artistic abilities. Just call (610-258-4046) , e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Mercantile 140 Northampton Street Easton, PA, 18042 to sign up.
Along with the Yellow Brick Road, the weekend will also include numerous sidewalk murals, art installations, the transformation of the Easton Farmer’s Market into Muchkinland, a performance by Grammy winner Judy Collins at the State Theater, an “Over the Rainbow” book signing event with Ms. Collins at Mercantile Home, a concert by singer/songwriter Kenny White, and a movie screening of “The Wizard of Oz”. Personally, my young daughter can’t wait to put on her Dorothy costume, complete with ruby red slippers. And the weather forecast for this weekend couldn’t be prettier.
I’m a big fan of Facebook for listing informational details. Here’s the link. And while you’re there, why not “favorite” this page?