South Bethlehem's Chili Cook-off, or -
THE kickoff to the summer festival season.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We want to hear from you

Here's a little back story on this event. It started 15 years ago by a group of citizens who wanted to change the perceptions of South Bethlehem. While some of the bad feelings still linger - there are many who live in our community who have seen the transformation of South Bethlehem, and are proud to live, work, pray and play in it. This event is sustained by citizens who love this city. Many committee members work for various local business and non-profits. But there is not one organization that is the organizer. Our sponsors and partners support the effort. The planning and execution are the results of a real grassroots effort.

We're an ALL VOLUNTEER group, and pretty darned proud to be the muscle behind this event. It's more than the committee. It's all of the local business, volunteers for each separate event, and YOU coming to it that really make it work.

But even the best intentions and efforts could use some feedback. Each year, we try something new. Three years ago, we tried out the skateboard/BMX bike demo. That effort helped to increase community support of the local Skate Park. Two years ago, more organizations were joining forces by presenting their celebrations on the same day. Cops 'n' Kids Reading Celebration, Banana Factory Block Party, and the Community Artists of Bethlehem's 5 Alarm Arts Fair. This year, we added a dance floor to the to inspire ideas of what functions the future Greenway park might offer our community.

We also tried a chili passport for pre-sale. This was a tricky experiment, because of a couple of factors:
1. We we're sure if people would respond positively to the idea.
2. We didn't want to over sell passports - there IS a limited supply of chili
3. We are at the mercy of weather. We got lucky again this year.

Oops! we ran out of chili tickets a couple of times. For those in line - Thanks for your patience! We'll make sure we have enough on hand next year. Do we sell more passports before the event? Should we have some on hand to sell on the day of?

So now that you know a little bit of back ground - tell us your thoughts. What do you like? What could we fix? And if you want to be a part of the behind-the scenes, let us know. We're about to have our wrap up session in a week or two.... after we've recovered. And we'd love to hear from you before then.

Thanks for coming. Thanks for reading. And who's going to the next community event for the Lehigh Valley? We hope to see you there, too.

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