Thursday is the start of a four-day celebration to mark Freemansburg's 150th anniversary, when many of the newcomers will get their first glimpse of old-time borough traditions such as the cakewalk, a cross between a raffle and musical chairs with baked goods as prizes. Event organizer Judy Lasso said ''the walk'' used to be popular, but couldn't recall any held after 1991.
Another major part of the celebration will be historical photographs that show how the borough has changed.
From 700 original inhabitants, Freemansburg grew to around 1,200 by World War I. The canal, then later the railroads and an electric trolley fed local commerce. One hundred homes were built around 1918 to house wartime employees of Bethlehem Steel, and the massive steel plants became as important to Freemansburg's economy as they were to Bethlehem's.
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