By AIXA TORREGROSA-VAZQUEZ
21st Century Media
If you can’t get to Brazil for FIFA World Cup 2014, don’t despair, you are in for a treat as all the drama, action and intensity is expected to unfold at FIFA World Cup SoccerFest and Viewing Party at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.
Here are the details
What is FIFA World Cup SoccerFest and Viewing Party at SteelStacks?
The event is one of “a select few outdoor viewing events in the nation officially approved by FIFA,” according to a press release. It features 26 World Cup Brazil games shown on a 17-foot high by 27-foot wide outdoor LED screen.
When is this happening?
Soccer fans can get their kicks from June 12-16 and June 19-22.
How much does it cost?
FIFA World Cup SoccerFest and Viewing Party is a free event.
Is this a family-friendly event?
The action starts at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 12 with the Brazil vs. Croatia game on view. Events continue both weekends with more game viewing, music and family-friendly activities. Highlights include a youth soccer clinic by the Philadelphia Union on June 14; an interactive Kids’ Fun Zone with soccer skills activities; and two youth soccer clinics for children with disabilities on June 20, among others.
What other games can we expect to watch?
Here are some highlights: USA vs. Ghana on June 16 and USA vs. Portugal on June 22. Others in the schedule include Mexico vs. Cameroon on June 13; England vs. Italy on June 14; Argentina vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina on June 15; Germany vs. Portugal, June 16; Japan vs. Greece June 19; Honduras vs. Ecuador June 20; Germany vs. Ghana June 21; Belgium vs. Russia June 22 and many others. For a complete schedule check http://soccerfest.discoverlehighvalley.com/schedule/
I hear there’s musical entertainment planned?
There will be free, live music on two stages. The following will take place at the Levitt Pavilion: Playing For Change on June 12; Alo Brasil on June 13; The Wholigans on June 14; Apollo Orchestra on June 19; Joe Veras on June 20; and Wito Rodriguez Salsa Jazz Orchestra on June 21.
The second weekend of SoccerFest coincides with the ¡Sabor! Latin Festival, featuring live music, food and family fun. Musical entertainment takes place at the Community Stage June 20-22 and includes performances by Santa Mamba, and Ricky Luis and the Luisito Rosario Orchestra. For a complete schedule for ¡Sabor! Latin Festival check www.artsquest.org/festivals/sabor.
Will there be food for sale?
SoccerFest and Viewing Party goers can check out the offerings at the following: Mike and Ike Bistro at ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, The Town Square Grille on the Air Products Town Square and The Mack Café by Rodale Catering at the Levitt Pavilion. Other vendors will also be available. In addition, food vendors will be available as part of ¡Sabor! Latin Festival June 20-22.
What else is planned?
◆ Leave your caxirola at home because you can have an opportunity to make your own soccer noisemaker. “We are offering children and families the opportunity to make (their own) noisemaker” inspired by the caxirola, said Mark Demko, spokesperson for ArtsQuest. This activity is free.
◆ SoccerFest attendees can also make a World Cup inspired sun catcher. Glassblowing artists will be on hand to help participants create a unique craft. There is a $45 fee for this activity.
◆ Vendors showcasing soccer apparel and equipment will be on hand.
◆ Also, ESPN will include the June 16 USA vs. Ghana Viewing Party as part of its coverage of World Cup Brazil.
◆ Throughout both weekends guests are welcome to donate new and gently used soccer equipment to the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Passback Program which will distribute the equipment to children in underserved communities throughout the nation.
Where is SteelStacks located?
101 Founders Way in Bethlehem. The site is an arts and cultural campus located on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant.
Where do I go for more information?
For detailed information, full schedules and directions check lvsoccerfest.com or call (610) 297-7100.
Anything else I should know?
◆ Did you know Bethlehem Steel was the backer of the Bethlehem Steel Football Club. “In 1914, the team went professional as Bethlehem FC,” according to lvsoccerfest.com. The special program “The Bethlehem Steel Football Club,” presented by soccer historian Daniel Paul Morrison, will be held June 14 and 15 at 2 p.m. at the Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. Admission is free.
◆ Though FIFA World Cup SoccerFest and Viewing Party is a free event, there are two ticketed events. A VIP reception and party from 6 to 8 p.m. June 13 featuring Dave Rowan, Philadelphia Union executive vice president, according to lvsoccerfest.com, Cost is $90 for ArtsQuest members and $99 for the public. And on June 22 a VIP event that includes foods and drinks is from 3 to 5 p.m. and features the 6 p.m. match between U.S and Portugal and is also $90 for ArtsQuest members $99 for the public.