Bethlehem's history will be highlighted in a special series of narrated trolley tours beginning in February.
Delmar resident and co-owner of Albany Aqua Ducks John Giordano said the trolley tours are a project coordinated by the Bethlehem chamber of commerce with town historians Raymond Houghton and Parker Mathusa providing the historical perspective.
I grew up here, and I feel Bethlehem has a story to tell, Giordano said.
The first tour will be held Feb. 20, and they will continue through April 10. One trolley tour will be a Revolutionary War Tour and the second will be an Historic Bethlehem Tour.
"I'm looking at it as a foundation to create additional support and enthusiasm for Quadricentennial events scheduled in 2009," said Mathusa.
The tours will begin in the public parking lot next to Applebee Funeral Home on Delaware Avenue and head toward Slingerlands and New Scotland Road to view the proposed Vista Technology Park and Slinglerlands hamlet before turning on Fisher Boulevard. The tour will continue back toward Delaware and Kenwood avenues before proceeding to the Elsmere area, and on to Wemple Road.
"There will be two sections with a 20-minute break in between at the Bethlehem Historical Association," said Mathusa. Refreshments at the break will be provided by Perfect Blend Coffee House.
The trolleys are a recent purchase of the Albany Aqua Ducks group, designed to deliver tours when the amphibious vehicles known as "ducks" are resting from November to March.
"It gives us the ability to conduct different types of tours ducks can't do year-round," Giordano said.
The price of $20 per person includes a donation to the Bethlehem Historical Association.
"For the Bethlehem chamber this is about another event to help us with our 50th anniversary in 2007," said Marty DeLaney, president.
"We want to look back at our history, and the trolley tours are a nice way to bring this community's history back into focus," DeLaney said.
Albany Aqua Ducks is now in its third year of operation. The tour company sees an average of 25,000 guests annually.
The trolleys are heated and seat up to 30 people. Narrations for each tour will be provided by Mathusa and Houghton.
Reservations can be made online at www.albanyaqua ducks.com or by calling 462-3825.""