NEW BETHLEHEM – While the annual New Bethlehem Peanut Butter Festival, originally planned for this coming weekend, is another COVID-19 casualty, area firefighters have picked up the torch and will host several events in the community this Saturday.

Ed Goth, treasurer of the New Bethlehem Fire Co., said that long before the festival was canceled this year, firefighters had planned to host a craft show at the fire hall in conjunction with the community event. He said that since the festival grounds in Gumtown Park only have so much room for crafters and vendors, the fire hall would serve as a secondary area for all those who still wanted to sell their wares.

“When the [Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce] elected not to have the festival, we were approached by individuals about sponsoring the bike race,” Goth said. He noted that the fire company looked into the matter, and “ultimately came to the decision that we could do that, and why not do the 5K race too?”

Thus, he said, the Rally in the Valley was born, which will feature the craft show at the fire hall this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., along with the Mountain Bike Race and the 5K.

“The fire company felt that we still needed to have something that day,” Goth said, noting that many of the crafters and vendors were hit hard this year by all the event cancelations.

Goth said the craft and vendor show will be held inside and outside of the fire hall, weather permitting, and that several food trucks will also take part in the event.

As for the races, Goth said both will offer signups on Saturday, and each participant will receive a T-shirt, while supplies last.

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Registration for the 5K race begins at 7 a.m. near Zack’s restaurant and the municipal parking lot. The entry fee is $25, and checks can be made payable to the New Bethlehem Fire Company.

The 5K race will get underway at 8 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to the first-place finishers in several age groups for men and women.

Registration for the mountain bike race will open at 9 a.m. along the Redbank Vally Trail near the fire hall. The cost to enter is $30, and the race will begin at 10 a.m. and will take place on mostly the same course as last year.

The bike race is also the finale of the annual Bike the Wilds race series. More details can be found on the “Bike the Wilds” Facebook page.

Goth said the races and the craft show will bring a number of people into town, and give local residents something fun to do.

“Hopefully we will have good weather,” Goth said.

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