The Bethlehem Harvest Fest, which took place in historic North Side Bethlehem, was full of local venders and great music on Saturday, October 6. It is a celebration of autumn as local venders sell their goods and musicians provide entertainment for guests. This year a few local bands came to play, including Ramtrout and James Supra/Sarah Ayers Band. Each band showcased a different kind of music, which catered to the diverse tastes of residents of Bethlehem.
Ramtrout stood out in the middle of Main Street. The two band members, Rameen Shayegan and Mark Spellman, wore jeans and knit blazers — great outfits to pair with their folk music. Shayegan is from Bangor and Spellman is from Ireland, and they spoke calmly in between songs about how they met and formed Ramtrout. Both sang with such passion, taking turns singing songs that they played skillfully on their guitars. Their songs addressed heartbreak and loneliness after a break-up; their style evoked emotion and empathy with their raw vocals and pure sound.
A song that stood out was “Dog,” a story that represents a relationship that was not fair or healthy. The music conveys the woes of someone who has been treated like a dog in a relationship. Both Shayegan and Spellman sang their hearts out, creating beautiful harmonies reminiscent of artists like Vance Joy. Their beautiful songs impacted the audience around them, with people looking intently at the duo’s hands strumming their guitars. Captivated by the music, people passing by would stop and listen to their harmonic singing and watch as they gave a great performance.
On the other side of the festival, the James Supra/Sarah Ayers Band gave another great performance with a blues style. While Ramtrout got to our hearts, James Supra/Sarah Ayers Band got people tapping their feet. They gave admirable performances in vocals, guitar, and harmonica. They sang covers of songs like “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” highlighting Sarah Ayers’ deep, rich vocals. She harmonized with James Supra effortlessly while Supra went back and forth between singing and producing the melancholic blues sound of the harmonica.
The Harvest Festival offered great performances and a beautiful fall retreat for those who wished to see wonderful live music. Local vendors selling seasonal foods like apple cider donuts or pumpkin treats were also present to help celebrate with homemade baked goods. For the Bethlehem community, this was a great way to support vendors and musicians. The Downtown Bethlehem Association offers many more festivals and events like this throughout the year. With the upcoming holiday season, Bethlehem’s Christmas Village will take place from November 17th- December 23rd on weekends. These events are free and open to anyone.