The 30th anniversary of Musikfest, the nation's largest, free music festival; the return of last year's SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase; and the fifth anniversary of PeepsFest highlight this year's ArtsQuest festival and events lineup.
Nowadays, a new indie rock festival held last March, and SteelJam, a jam band festival held for two years, will not be presented.
The Blast Furnace Blues festival, also held the past two years, will move to spring 2014 and won't be presented this summer.
ArtsQuest is adding the Three Kings celebration, 3 - 7 p.m. Jan. 6.
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem begins its 2013 Winter-Spring "Bach at Noon" series Jan. 8 in Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem.
The performance opens with Johann Sebastian Bach's arrangement for organ of Antonio Vivaldi's "Concerto in D Minor," Opus 3 No. 11 (RV 565) for two violins, cello, strings, and basso continuo. Soloist is Thomas Goeman, Bach Choir organist and assistant conductor.
Artistic director and conductor Greg Funfgeld's programming for the 2012-'13 Bach at Noon series has focused on the connections between Bach and Vivaldi.
Here is a sampling of the topics to be addressed at the Shakespeare Theatre Association Conference:
Jan. 7: "Shakespeare's Geography of Thought," Lisa Wolpe, Globe International Theatre Fellow, Actor, Director, Playwright
Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company
Jan. 8: "New World Shakespeare," Terry OBrien, Founding Artistic Director, Hudson Valley Shakespeare
Jan. 9: "Original Practices and the Actor-Audience Connection," Laura Cole, Director of Education and Training, Atlanta Shakespeare Co.
Ziegels Union Church celebrates Christmas.
Junior WR Chris Litzenberger of the Muhlenberg football team was named to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll.
To be named, a student-athlete must be a sophomore or higher in class standing, carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 or higher and be a starter or key reserve on his team.
An accounting major, Litzenberger appeared in every game, including two starts, and totaled 10 receptions for 91 yards and a TD. The TD came against Dickinson en route to a 61-21 victory on the road.
Charles "Butch" W. Parker, 81, of Whitehall, died Dec. 15, 2012, in Lehigh Valley Hospital Center, Salisbury Township. He was the husband of Mildred C. (Deily) Parker for 61 years.
Born in Stiles, he was a son of the late Charles G. and Theresa (Duld) Parker.
He was a member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Catasauqua.
He retired from the Coca Cola Bottling Company after 38 years of service. He then worked for Emmaus Auto Parts. Previously, he was employed by Kraft Foods and Vale Chemical Company.
The cool air of winter is now upon us and it is time to make sure we are all prepared for the season.
Most of us probably wish we could snuggle up by a fire with a good book but commutes and travel do not stop because the flurries begin to fall.
Do a routine winter check of your vehicle to ensure you are prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at you.
Check your vehicle's fluid levels and be sure to fill up with a de-icing windshield wiper fluid. Make sure your wipers do not streak and think about installing new winter blades.
Shirley A. Becker, 81, of North-ampton, died Dec. 17, 2012, at Lehigh Vallley Hospital-Muhlenberg, Bethlehem. She was the wife of the late Wilfred B. Becker Jr.
Born in Cementon, she was a daughter of the late James and Eva (Walters) White.
She is survived by two daughters, Barbara M. and her husband Paul Conklin and Debra K. and her husband Rodney Altorfer of Whitehall; a sister, Berdell Follweiler of Slatington; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
She was predeceased by a son, Wilfred J. Becker; and a grandson.
"You only live once," a friend who smoked and drank to excess since his teens would respond when I'd chide him about his body abuse.
Right. So since we get only one shot at life as we know it, shouldn't we try to make it last?
Today, as this friend lies terminally ill, far beyond medical repair, he has regrets.
But it's too late. His 62-year-old body has given up.
His sad situation reminds me of another friend who died at 50, the victim of lung cancer.
Suspicious person reported
Coplay police on Dec. 12 responded at 1:30 p.m. to a call about a suspicious person.
A resident of the unit block of South Front Street told police he saw an unknown man looking into a window at the rear of his residence.
Police said the resident chased the unidentified man on foot south on Front Street into Whitehall Township, after which time he lost contact.
Police are investigating.
Officers respond to 911 hang up
A report of a 911 hang-up Dec. 18 at 6:08 p.m. had police responding to an apartment at 11 N. Front St.