St. Anne’s Parish in Bethlehem honored of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of the environment and animals, with its annual pet blessing Oct. 4. A large crowd of families, students and their pets gathered in the St. Anne’s School parking lot or a cool, sunny and breezy afternoon. In attendance were approximately 50 pets, including dogs, cats, a ferret, a turtle and some fish. St. Anne’s Pastor, Rev. Anthony P. Mongiello was on hand to personally bless each animal individually. Judging by all the smiles, the popular occasion was a big success.
Bethlehem hosted its 32nd annual Celtic Classic Sept. 27-29. The festival is a three-day celebration of Celtic traditions, including music, piping, dance, athletics, beer, food and merchandise. The yearly festival averages nearly 300,000 attendees, nd this year’s excellent weather guaranteeing a high turnout.
According to Celticfest.org, 40 percent of the patrons are from the Lehigh Valley, with 60 percent coming from throughout the United States and abroad.
This year mark’s the 36th year of Musikfest. It’s one of the largest music festivals in the nation with over 500 shows on 17 stages over 10 days. The music, food and fun are supported by 2,000 volunteers and a million plus visitors. Unlike last year’s rains and flooding, this year’s weather has been welcoming sight to the 60+ food vendors as well as the many other vendors selling art and merchandise.
Hellertown and Lower Saucon held their annual National Night Out Aug. 6 at Dimmick Park in Hellertown. It was an opportunity for the community and first responders to come together in an effort to build relationships and increase awareness of crime and safety.
The family friendly event included free food, music, demonstrations, activities and games for kids. Members of Hellertown and Lower Saucon Police departments along with Dewey, Lower Saucon Fire & Rescue and Steel City Fire Departments were on hand with the various vehicles they use.
Hellertown Fire Chief Mike Maguire was on hand to summarize a lengthy report presented to council outlining their search for a new fire truck July 15.
The purchase would be a quint fire truck to replace an existing fire truck made by KME Fire Apparatus. A quint is a multipurpose fire truck that covers five areas of needs to the borough. They are pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device and ground ladders. The plan is to send Hellertown’s requirements to around eight companies for bids with KME not on the list.
The 2019-20 student handbook for the Saucon Valley MS has been approved. There was one change involving the policy on smoking, tobacco and vaping. Assistant Principal Amy Braxmeier was on hand to update the board. Per the 2018-19 handbook it states “smoking and tobacco use and possession are prohibited in school buildings, on district property, and any other jurisdiction 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.
At the July 1 Hellertown Council meeting borough engineer Bryan Smith announced that aftser several date changes, the Water Street Bridge will close July 22. The bridge is structurally deficient and is to be replaced by Kriger Construction.
Mayor David Heintzelman swore in new part time police officer Andrew Konig June 17. Konig’s family and friends stood with him along with Chief of Police Robert Shupp and Corporal John Donato.
Heintzelman said he was pleased that so many of family attended and thanked all of them for being there. Another swearing in ceremony was performed by Mayor Heintzelman for Junior Council member Noah Kates. Kates was joined by his Mom at the front during the oath. Kates will be serving his role during the summer months.
A large contingent of parents and students gathered June 17 to voice concerns to the school board over the perceived lack of monetary support for the theater program. The majority of the meeting consisted of parents and students speaking to board members, who largely listened without comment.
Prior to public comment, Solicitor Mark Fitzgerald asked everyone to keep their comments limited to three minutes because of the number of people in the room.
The Saucon Valley School District has hired Michael Sakelalrides as the new K-8 assistant principal at a yearly salary of $95,000, effective July 1. Sakelalrides has been the interim assistant principal for the last couple of months, after former assistant principal James Deegan was moved over to the middle school and appointed as the principal there.