Traditions mean success for downtown Sioux Falls eatery

That was in 1974. After sustained success, the foundation began with the aim of revitalizing public spaces with the performing arts.

In 2003, the second opened in Pasadena, California, in a crime-ridden park. There were four more in a decade.

Among them, Bethlehem has most in common with Sioux Falls. It is a medium-sized northern climate with an amphitheater on a former industrial property. The city in eastern Pennsylvania has a population of around 70,000, but is part of a larger tri-city subway area that has more than 1 million residents.

“Bethlehem was the weird man because the other cities were big cities,” said Tony Hanna, executive director of the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, the organization responsible for repurposing the city’s old steel mill campus. “They preserve history and give people things that they can look forward to in the future.”

Bethlehem’s Levitt Shell has attracted a lot of viewers who have mostly booked regional bands – think the version of Soulcrate or Kory and the Fireflies from eastern Pennsylvania. The idea is to break down barriers – cultural or financial – by offering high quality music that speaks to everyone for free.

Being in a cooler climate wasn’t an obstacle. Levitt’s locations must meet their exhibit requirements within the same 16 week period – usually between May and August – and every city experiences inclement weather from time to time. Shows that have been canceled due to the weather do not have to be rescheduled in accordance with the agreement with the foundation.

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