Celtic Classic 2k16

The sun was shining, the rich smell of fried food filled the air, and the different styles of kilts was unnumbered. My group of equally inexperienced friends walked across the bridge on the left side of South Bethlehem to check out everything that was the famous 2016 Bethlehem Celtic Classic Festival located on the North side of Bethlehem along the canal. While walking, we passed more festival goers with their arms wrapped around their new goodies. After researching and interrogating some of our other friends about where to go, what to eat, and when to go first, we had a general idea of what we wanted to get done in the two hours we had to explore. I was not only ready for an adventure, but I was also very hangry.



Knowing we needed at least ten tickets to really get our hands dirty in Celtic Fest food, I opted for buying twenty . The price per ticket seemed a little steep at first but when I realized everything I could do with them, I knew it was all worth it. Note to self and others: Next time I’ll remember that it is crucial to get there in the early afternoon so that once you arrive, the events are in full swing and the crowd is pumped.

We spent more time talking about what the throwers had previously volunteered for in the previous years and then decided to get the famous Aw Shucks corn together. I felt compelled to document my shining moment with this special corn- they pulled the husks of the corn down to create an Au natural handle and then put them in the oven full of boiling water. A group of ladies artistically painted the hot, cooked corn with melted butter and I saw it drip down the bright yellow kernels and onto the husk. Side note: it was a good thing they had gloves on and wrapped paper towels around the husk handle otherwise they would have had butter dripping down their arms, but for some people that may not have been a bad thing. The last station of people was the shaker station. Bright red powder flurried from their shakers and fragrant, chunky Parmesan cheese fell onto the corn, any excess fell onto a mound of spice on a pan below.  We traded tickets with the woman manning the ticket box and were given corn-on-the-cob-extreme-deliciousness. I watched my friend take a bite and corn juice jetted everywhere. With my red-orange lips stained with spice, I realized that this was the toughest part: eating the corn oh-so gracefully without leaving streaks or spurts of spice and corn juice everywhere.

We proceeded to check out the little shop stands that were strategically placed right next to the food. I see what they did there. Besides staring at the homemade cookies and biscuits, I noticed that there were trinkets galore! Precious stones, craft jewelry, scarves, clothes, and even swords lined the pathway. There were so many things to buy but as a college student, my pockets were a little barren to consider an investment like the sword my eyes lingered on. What can I say? I saw a lot of people with swords on their backs. I probably didn’t need it but there’s always tomorrow so I decided to sleep on that purchase.


Update: I did not buy the sword. To be honest, I completely forgot about it when I attempted making the Aw Shucks corn spice and came sufficiently close. Not as good, but it will have to do until next year.

After lingering around for a bit longer, two of my friends parted ways but I stayed with my boyfriend. Feeling snacky, we decided to use our leftover tickets to try something a little bit more traditional. We settled on the Irish Nachos. The name doesn’t say much but I did say they were a little bit more traditional. Irish Nachos entailed a mass of chip fries smothered in gravy, cheese sauce, lamb, and beef with a green onion garnish. They were amazing! We inhaled them within minutes while watching a bunch of different bands play like The Gothard Sisters and No Irish Need Apply.

During the walk back, it was starting to hit me that I was a senior and won’t have the easy option to be able to experience this festival again. I kicked myself for not showing up earlier but appreciated everything I was able to see and especially, eat. If my stomach were any bigger, I would have spent another hour contemplating what to try as my last meal of the day. Between the jumbo turkey legs, traditional Irish meals in a cup, and even the eclectic Haggis, (or really anything from the authentic Scottish Cottage stand for that matter), there were so many traditional and non-traditional options that any foodie would appreciate. Come with an empty stomach, you’ll thank me later!

This festival is so enveloped in Irish culture and is definitely something that will entertain you and if you’re not Irish, will make you appreciate another culture and its traditions. If you are around next year during this beautiful time of year and find yourself looking for something to do, the Celtic Classic Festival is three days of Irish fun that you won’t want to miss. Check out the links to the incredible vendors and musicians we saw if you want to find out more about them! The Celtic Cultural Alliance has been hosting this event for years and definitely deserve so much recognition for their effort and passion for establishing this tradition and sharing their culture with the rest of us. If you’re looking to volunteer at the next festival, head over to the CCA website to learn more about the opportunities! Please feel free to comment about your own experiences at the Celtic Classic, anything else that I should explore next time, or if you have any questions about what else it has to offer.

Thanks for reading about my experience and helping me reflect on it! It was a truly not-to-miss event that I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to go.

Bye for now folks!



Art & Food

How do you like to get excited about going to a show? Do you think about what to wear? What about dinner or drink plans before or after? For our season opener last week, Silagh White (Director of Arts Engagement and Community Cultural Affairs) shared how she got ready to fully enjoy Sheila E. Read here how she tapped into local retailers and a smart Lehigh Alum food blogger.


Michelle Rittler – Taste As You Go Food Blogger, Lehigh University, ’02

Or if you don’t want to read that post, here’s what you should know. Lehigh alum, Michelle Rittler (’02) is a successful food blogger who has done her research on the Zoellner Guest Artist season to share great food/cocktail pairings for the shows. She’s come up with inspiring recipes that are kitchen tested and presented with techniques beautifully photographed for the experienced and novice cook.

We are hoping to share her ideas with you, and encourage you to sign up for Michelle’s newsletter, right on the top of her blog. Here are Michelle’s ideas for this weekend:

Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin


Friday night – Morgan James.
Potato Gratin. Recipe here.
WHY? Morgan James is from Idaho!

Local dining alternative: Try the tater tots at Molly’s. Always crispy, always delicious. They also have a “loaded” version of tater tots worth experimenting.



Melon Ball Cocktails

Saturday night – Bill Warfield & the Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
Melon Ball Cocktails. Recipe here.
WHY? Hard bop has its origins in the 1950s. This was a popular cocktail during this time.

Local dining alternative. Try any of these five establishments highlighted by another Lehigh Valley blogger (Cheryl Doll) on her “5 Best Cocktail Bars in Bethlehem” list. Two on the list are within walking distance of Zoellner Arts Center (hint: Social Still and Bookstore Speakeasy), We also suggest trying Molinari’s: tell them Zoellner sent you!


Sunday afternoon – Faculty Recital: Paul Salerni – Music from Three Continents
Rugelach (a popular Jewish dessert) – Sign up for Michelle’s newsletter to get the recipe
WHY? The program includes works by Israeli-American composer Ofer Ben-Amots. And this concert is in between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. (Happy Sweet New Year)

Local dining alternative: Head to Molinari’s for some great Italian dining. Paul Salerni proudly celebrates his Italian heritage.

South Side Mural Unveiling this Saturday

From our friends of the South Side Initiative:

(Image by EMILY PAINE of the THE MORNING CALL) Max Meano of Bethlehem spray paints the first 'S' of a 'Welcome to Southside' mural he is working on at the Alternative Gallery in Allentown on Wednesday afternoon. The 'S' he is working on will depict a scene from Lehigh University. A Southside Bethlehem mural inspired by the 'Welcome to the Bronx' sign will be installed this month near the Comfort Suites in Bethlehem. The different letters will include images of Southside landmarks.

Max Meano of Bethlehem spray paints the first ‘S’ of a ‘Welcome to Southside’ mural he is working on at the Alternative Gallery in Allentown on Wednesday afternoon. The ‘S’ he is working on will depict a scene from Lehigh University… The different letters will include images of Southside landmarks.

Please join the South Side community as we welcome artist Max Meano’s new mural on the wall of Comfort Suites Hotel on 3rd Street in Bethlehem. Meano’s mural celebrates the historic and integral character of South Side Bethlehem. This stunning piece will be viewable from the corner of 3rd  Street & Brodhead Avenue, welcoming visitors and South Side members alike for years to come. For more information about the mural, please see Nicole Radzievich’s Morning Call article here.

The event will be held at 2:00pm with the unveiling of the mural. The event is FREE and open to the public! Comfort Suites will be giving complimentary drink vouchers for the hotel bar, which opens at 5:00pm and has a Happy Hour (with half priced appetizers) lasting until 7:00pm. Then head across the bridge to Main Street for the Downtown Bethlehem Association’s ArtWalk from 4-8pm where you can spend the evening visiting local artists lined on Main.

We encourage people to bike or walk to our event, but if you must drive please find parking on the street. This is a community event you won’t want to miss! Please save the date and tell your friends!

We hope to see you there,
The SSI Team

Sharing what and HOW we know stuff.

Day 10 of National #ArtsandHumanities Month

It’s been a pretty active arts month on Lehigh’s Campus. In just 10 days, we’ve seen theatrical productions, concerts, lectures, speakers, exhibits, dancing, circus arts, singing, writing, photography, video….

The truth is – it’s like that here EVERY DAY! Ok, the circus arts were a special guest artist presented at Zoellner last weekend. But still… Circus arts on campus! Arts@Lehigh is a program that finds information about the arts, creativity and aesthetic wonderings on campus and in the community geographically nearby. We present a weekly newsletter that helps readers plan their weekend and weekly activities. You can see the latest version of the newsletter <HERE>.

If you’d like to subscribe, please email sus205@lehigh.edu with the subject: SUBSCRIBE TO ARTS@LEHIGH NEWSLETTER. That way you’ll get all the information we know about what’s happening in the arts and culture on campus between Wednesday and the Tuesday of the following week.

How do we know about all the arts and culture on campus and our local community? First; it’s our mission to find what’s going on and share it as widely as possible. We use listening tools, and follow faculty, departments, university programs, venues, and student initiatives. We “scan the internets” as it is. There’s no secret to the work. It takes lots of time and attention. And we love doing it – because there is nothing cooler than seeing art impact the lives of people who engage with it. Art is truly a way of learning and living on campus. It’s not just for arts majors. It’s for everyone: students, staff, faculty, administrators, school aged children, citizens, visitors….

Koji_T-shirt_artwork_003_400x400Just as we share the content we find, today we will share our tools. Here’s one – if you’re on Twitter, you may know that you can create lists to be able to filter information on that channel as well as hashtags for content. The Arts@Lehigh twitter handle has a list of arts related groups to help us scan. The groups are either departments, programs, student clubs, or even venues that sometimes present art. It’s comprehensive; but there may be a handle we haven’t found yet. You can subscribe to the list, if you wish.

We welcome anyone interested in seeing the curated list of arts related profiles at Lehigh University – <CLICK HERE>

Or, print this:

Arts at Lehigh Twitter



Humanities Center 2014-15 Programs

The Lehigh University Humanities Center is a wonderful intellectual and physical gem on campus. It’s center is found in a comfortable home-like setting on the far west side of Packer Avenue.

According to the program description from the LehighU Course Catalog,

The Humanities Center provides a physical home as well as intellectual, financial, and organizational support for students, faculty, and staff who wish to come together to participate in humanistic inquiry, understood in the broadest possible terms.

In addition to providing resources to support faculty research or creative activity, each year the Humanities Center Advisory Board, made up of faculty from various academic disciplines, picks a theme for interdisciplinary discourse. Themes in past years have explored concepts of  “Waste,” “Just Globalization,” “Contagion,” “New Bethlehem,” “Speaking Bodies” and “Excess.”  For each theme, the center presents a series of invited scholars, intellectuals, artists and writers to address related issues.

The theme for the 2014-15 lecture series is “Posthumanitities;” multiple considerations of “the place of the human in the humanities.”  Further description of the theme is available on the Humanities Center website. But also extracted here for ease and interest:

The human has long been the conceptual center of the humanities, disciplines that strive to come to terms with and document human experience in varied historical and cultural contexts. But, unfolding environmental crises, new technologies, and scientific developments in our understanding life prompt new questions about the humanities’ orientation toward the human. Have traditional modes of humanistic inquiry foreclosed, in violent and even catastrophic ways, possible relationships to our world and the beings we share it with? How might humanistic inquiry challenge its own disciplinary limits and its grounding in human, as opposed to non-human, life for a revitalized ethics and politics? And, particularly pressing for a series housed in the Humanities Center, what do the humanities, reimagined, have to offer to posthuman inquiry? While the natural sciences can teach us about the genetic and cognitive similarities between humans and animals, this series on the Posthumanities asks how religion, literature, philosophy, history, and art can help us to analyze why that knowledge does not lead us to treat animal life differently, to give insight into the subjectivities that shape scientific and technological imaginaries, and ultimately to retrain our desires and our politics toward more ethical relationships with plant, animal, technological, and human life.

We aim to provide a separate blog post for each event. For now, we hope that our interested reader will mark their calendars and consider how these speakers and discussions would spur curiosity and engage in the delights of a deeply thinking intellectual community.

Consider this post a “save the dates” notice. The events will take place in the Scheler Humanities Forum, Linderman Library room 200 unless noted otherwise.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 – 4:10pm
Cary Wolfe
Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor, Department of English
Founding Director, 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory
Rice University

Thursday, October 23, 2014 – 4:10pm
Location TBD
David Bates
Professor, Department of Rhetoric
UC Berkeley

Thursday, November 6, 2014 – 4:10pm
Kellie Robertson
Associate Professor, Department of English
University of Maryland

Thursday, January 29, 2015 – 4:10pm
Susan Pearson
Associate Professor, Department of History
Northwestern University

Thursday, February 19, 2015
Kalpana Seshadri
Professor, Department of English
Boston College

Thursday, March 19, 2015 – 4:10pm
J. Andrew Brown
Associate Professor, Spanish and Comparative Literature
Washington University, St. Louis

Thursday, April 23, 2015 – 4:10pm
Kelly Oliver
W. Alton Jones Professor, Department of Philosophy
Vanderbilt University

ArtsAlive now open to returning students!

This post for returning Lehigh students only:

Have you ever wanted to hit a reset button on your first Lehigh experience? There are quite a number of students who – for whatever reasons – don’t get a chance to try one of the preLUsion programs. There is an incredible number of programs now designed to give students a chance to get on campus early, meet others with similar interests and try new things.

One other advantage to doing a preLUsion program is the chance to try things that you might not have had time to try during the academic year. Let’s face it, when classes get started, co-curricular activities heat up, and the social life barely gets any time, trying something new is really had to fit in. How many alumni wish they could go back to campus and check off a few things on their bucket list?

The Office of First Year Experience is letting us try a little experiment for returning students.

ImageViewerIf you are interested in trying some really cool activities with a group of students interested in similar things, we have a few spots open in the ArtsAlive 2014 program. What does that mean?

You can try activities like theater improv, dancing, stage make-up, glass blowing or pottery, and take a couple of off campus trips to either Martin Guitar or a Museum. We explore the arts scene on campus, and lots of cool venues close by. $300 covers all fees, transportation, supplies and meals. You get to move into your room early, and enjoy a few creative adventures before the intensity of the semester begins.

Here’s a recap post from last year’s program. And here’s a link to another recap with a cool photo album at the bottom.

If you’re interested, don’t hesitate. We’re only keeping the registration open for two more weeks. Here’s a link to act now: CLICK RIGHT HERE, Mr. Mouse. If you have any questions, please email Silagh White directly at siw205@lehigh.edu

Steeples and Steel Tours

steeples(*) Anyone who has enjoyed the view of South Bethlehem from Rathbone Dining Hall, Rauch Business Center, the top levels of any campus parking garage, Iacocca Tower, or even the Lehigh Lookout may be curious about all of those steeples that spike across the city scape not too far from the blast furnaces. Most of these churches were built by ethnic immigrant laborers who worked at the steel. In 2008, the Catholic Diocese in Allentown closed four of the churches, but sold the buildings to other organizations; keeping the buildings (ref article here.)

We see South Bethlehem history every day, and now there’s a chance for us to learn more about the people who built these magnificent structures and how they became icons of the multi-ethnic character of this rich community. For the next four months, on one Saturday each month, we can learn about the people who worked, lived and prayed in these magnificent buildings.

[printed from press release received June 13, 2014]

Guided by the Steelworkers’ Archives, Inc. and the South Bethlehem Historical Society

These mini-bus tours, sponsored by the above-organizations, will provide historic interpretation of work at the Bethlehem steel mill, the South Side Bethlehem churches, and the connections between steelworkers, their churches, and the South Side’s ethnic, steel working communities.

The tours are scheduled for Saturdays on 6/28, 7/26, 8/23, 9/20. Tours will leave from St. John’s Windish Church at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The initial one-hour section of the tour, guided by a representative from the South Bethlehem Historical Society, will tour steelworker neighborhoods and churches on Bethlehem’s South Side. One church will be entered each tour, with the guide being a church member. This will be followed by a one-hour steelworker-guided tour of the Bethlehem Steel site. A “steelworker’s overtime” bag lunch will be provided to tour participants for take-out or to eat at St. John’s Windish Kaiser Auditorium.

Tours will leave from St. John’s Windish Lutheran Church, 617 E. Fourth Street at 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 pm

The Archives, SBHS, and local churches and community-based organizations will have table displays of historical materials and artifacts at the Kaiser Auditorium from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each tour day. A tour of St. John’s Windish will be held at 12:15 p.m. This open house is open and free to the public. Refreshments will be available.

Tours are scheduled as follows:

June 28.
9:30 a.m. The in-church tour will visit St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church.
1:00 p.m. The in-church tour will visit Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church.

July 26.
9:30 a.m. The in-church tour will visit Sts. Cyril & Methodius Roman Catholic Church (now
1:00 p.m. The in-church tour will visit Holy Infancy Roman Catholic Church.

Aug. 23.
9:30 a.m. The in-church tour will visit Concordia Lutheran Church.
1:00 p.m. The in-church tour will visit St. Ursula Roman Catholic Church.

Sept. 20.
9:30 a.m. The in-church tour will visit St. John African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
1:00 p.m. The in-church tour will visit Cathedral Church of the Nativity.

Ticket prices for the mini-bus tours are $15 per person. Advance reservations are required. Tickets can be ordered through: www.steelworkersarchives.com or at 610-861-0600. All ticket sales are final. Special thanks to Northampton County’s Department of Community and Economic Development and Lehigh University’s South Side Initiative for their generous support.

(*) So glad to have discovered this image taken by Bob Thompson for the post.
For more background interest, read Lynn Olanoff’s article from the Express Times.