Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a city whose economy was once based exclusively on steel production and heavy manufacture, is now developing its historical and cultural amenities and is marketing itself as a tourist destination. This paper explores the basis of the city's appeal to visitors with an examination of one of the major tourist events, the annual Christmas program. The research suggests that visitors are lured by Bethlehem's small town charm and the suggestion of an authentic urban community. This nostalgia apparently engages not only big-city tourists, but also those from the suburbs and small municipalities. The paper describes this case of cultural tourism in which the principle attraction seems to be a vicarious experience with gemeinschaft-like community.

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