Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites

In association with the Smithsonian Institution


Morning Call: Oppressive heat takes toll on the Lehigh Valley, though not so much on Bethlehem’s Blueberry Festival

At Bethlehem’s historic Burnside Plantation men wore wide-brimmed hats and women carried parasols as they strolled the grounds, but they weren’t trying to re-create the 18th century atmosphere.

Visitors to the farm — which is hosting the 32nd annual Blueberry Festival this weekend — were doing whatever they could to beat the heat on Saturday.

“Thank God for hats and umbrellas,” said Rosemarie Pesci, of Stroud Township, as she battled the temperature, which reached 95 Saturday afternoon — 6 degrees off the record set in 1980.

Throughout the Lehigh Valley, people sought relief in shade, water and air conditioning, as the soaring temperature mixed with high humidity to form a dangerous heat index of 105 to 110 degrees. While the weather dissuaded some from going outside, it seemed to buoy others, who ventured out to shop, swim and eat blueberries.

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