From August 7-16, the little town of Bethlehem, PA, won't feel so little. During those 10 days, the town's annual music festival will take over the town, which is home to around 75,000 people. That's saying something, since the event, which began in 1984, now draws more than 900,000 people each year. As Chris Cowitch, branch manager in Allentown, PA, says, "it's an absolutely gigantic event for the area."
"If you ask anyone in town, 'are you going to Musikfest?' 3 out of 4 people would say, 'yes, I'm going' for at least one of the days." But it also draws people from around the region, from Allentown to the Poconos and from Philadelphia to Reading, Cowitch says.
Among this year's participants will be team members from 5-6 eastern Pennsylvania Springleaf* branches, who will be there for the closing weekend of the festival, August 14-16.
This year, team members hope to draw in visitors to the Springleaf tent by featuring two exciting additions: giveaways and a free photo booth! Visitors can drop by the tent, enter for a chance to win a prize, and take a photo with some fun props.
Cowitch looks forward to giving people the chance to try out the photo booth, which was an idea suggested by one of the loan specialists at his branch, and giving people their photos as souvenirs of their day at Musikfest.
Cowitch also looks forward to chatting with festivalgoers at the Springleaf tent. "Talking to people in general is what we do." He looks forward to spreading awareness about who Springleaf is and what Springleaf does.
To get people into the spirit of the event, and help them keep cool, Springleaf team members will also be passing out guitar-shaped fans. Last year, these Springleaf fans were a great success with the many attendees anxiously looking for some relief from the heat, according to Cowitch. "People were asking each other, 'where can I get one of those guitar fans?'"
Cowitch also had some help last year passing out the fans. His favorite memory from last year was handing out guitar fans with his little ones.
Children at the festival can do more than pass out fans, though. The event also features rides, daily kids' activities, and a treasure hunt.
There are lots of activities for adults too. Cowitch enjoys having the chance to walk through the streets of Bethlehem, enjoying the food, drink, and music.
Still, the main focus of the festival is, of course, the music. This year's lineup features many big names, including Reba, Darius Rucker, ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down, and Snoop Dogg.
The festival also features other types of performances, including comedy and dance performances. This year, Jerry Seinfeld will be performing, which Cowitch thinks is "huge."
"How many times do you see Jerry Seinfeld coming to the Lehigh Valley area?" he asks. "It's enormous to get artists of that caliber."
Cowitch has been attending the festival as long as he can remember. "Growing up, I remember Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons came to Musikfest. I remember being very young and my parents being very excited to see them. There was a lot of buzz about it."
In many ways, Musikfest is much the same as it was when Cowitch was young. It's still an event that features fun for all ages, and its lineup of big-name artists still generates a lot of excitement.
"It's very enjoyable for everyone," Cowitch says. It fosters a sense of community and pride when famous acts come to the area. "That's Musikfest in a nutshell."
For more information about Musikfest, visit the event's website.
* Please note that Springleaf has changed its name to OneMain.