Bethlehem Press

Friday, January 24, 2020
Event Chair Karen Merkel came equipped with the right prop for the theme Event Chair Karen Merkel came equipped with the right prop for the theme "The Great Gatsby Meets Boardwalk Empire." She is a member of the board of director of the Downtown Bethlehem Merchants Association, one of the sponsors of the annual rooftop party at the North Street Parking Garage.
008: Linorna Gula (l)from Forks Township chats with Andrea Palco of Whitehall while waiting for the swing band to begin playing. Both 008: Linorna Gula (l)from Forks Township chats with Andrea Palco of Whitehall while waiting for the swing band to begin playing. Both "flappers" work for RCN.
010: You could say these young 010: You could say these young "Rooftop White" partygoers were "the cat's meow." Dan Gregory of Nazareth escorted Bethlehem flappers Lisa Flores and Razan Qammaz, who were definitely contenders for the best-dressed prize.
 012: Christian Weber and Crystal Olah came prepared to wait out the rain at the 012: Christian Weber and Crystal Olah came prepared to wait out the rain at the "Rooftop White" fundraiser in downtown historic Bethlehem. The Bethlehem couple were among an estimated 200 who ignored the rain to join the party.
Arielle Toolen-Rogers and Eric Cesare, both of Bethlehem, dared to be different at the fourth-annual Arielle Toolen-Rogers and Eric Cesare, both of Bethlehem, dared to be different at the fourth-annual "Rooftop White Party," where everyone was encouraged to dress in white costumes from the 1920s.
017: No 1920s vintage party would be complete without a swing band, and the Lehigh Valley has its own 017: No 1920s vintage party would be complete without a swing band, and the Lehigh Valley has its own "Slicked Up Nine," which provided entertainment at this year's "Rooftop White Party." A swing dance competition topped off the evening.

Gatsby meets Boardwalk Empire

Thursday, September 26, 2013 by CAROLE GORNEY Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

An estimated 200 people, many dressed in 1920s-style all-white costumes, braved rain and wind earlier this summer to attend Bethlehem's fourth annual "Rooftop White Party," jointly sponsored by the Downtown Bethlehem Association, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Bethlehem Parking Authority. Part of the proceeds from the event went to help fund a security system to protect the stalls of off-duty police horses that have been victims of intruder violence in the past.

This year's theme, "The Great Gatsby Meets the Boardwalk Empire," was the brainchild of Karen Merkel, owner of Girlfriends Boutique in downtown Bethlehem, and chair of the event. Merkel said the current release of the movie version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, and the popularity of the Boardwalk television series made for a natural pairing.

The "Slicked-up Nine," an eight-piece swing band - yes, eight - helped set the mood and add to the festivities. Trophies were awarded to the best swing dancers, as well as to the best dressed flappers and their escorts.

Held on the top floor of the North Street Parking Garage, the rooftop party idea was created four years ago by downtown Bethlehem merchants, who wanted to create awareness of the then-new parking facility and attract residents to shop in the historic district.

Other sponsors this year were Girlfriends Boutique, BPS, 99.9 Hawk, Lehigh Valley Style, Haldeman Ford, Balloon Works, Bud Light, Valley Beat, and the Sands Bethlehem Event Center.