Historic Schaefferstown will hold its 19th annual Christkindlmarkt on Friday, Dec. 8, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the social hall at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, at 1304 Heidelberg Ave.

Brook May is a member of Historic Schaefferstown and helps the organization plan events and market them. This year, she serves as the committee chair of Christkindlmarkt.

When asked about her connection to the area, May said, “I am from Schaefferstown, lived there from like 4 to 16 [years old]. So, that’s kind of where I’ve called home a long time, and lived in Lebanon County the rest of my life.”

May described Christkindlmarkt as “a German tradition that was an open-air market that would take place in many towns and villages. And it encouraged folks to come do their Christmas shopping among friends.”

She said that Historic Schaefferstown decided to bring the tradition to the area because of the prevalent German heritage of those in Schaefferstown. In doing so, the organization has made the tradition its own by holding it inside rather than out in the winter elements.

“We encourage people to come and check out the crafts,” May said. “We have so many different artists that are well-recognized in Pennsylvania and some nationally. And it’s just a really great event to come to.”

This year, more than 20 artists will return to the event to sell their “early American and Pennsylvania German crafts,” May said. These crafts include Christmas decorations, wreaths, folk art wood carvings, hooked rugs, feather trees, quilt art, and handwoven pieces.

Regarding the artists who will be in attendance at Christkindlmarkt, May said, “I think almost all of our artists are returning. … I know I had a few new people reach out, but … I don’t think that we have anybody new.”

The event parking and admission are free. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted. May said the event is ADA-accessible from the accessible parking spaces to the ramp to enter and exit the church and social hall.

“The parking lot is located behind the church off of North Carpenter Street,” May said.

Those interested in attending Historic Schaefferstown’s Christkindlmarkt can visit the event’s Facebook page or call the organization at 717-949-2244 for more information.

“We always encourage anyone coming to the event to shop other places in Schaefferstown like the Tweed Weasel, have lunch at the Franklin House,” May said. The Brendle Museum will also be open to the public on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

When asked about other upcoming events through the organization, May said, “The Christkindlmarkt ends our event season for the year. But we do have a bunch of different events that happen every year between our Brendle Museum, the Gemberling-Rex House, and also the Schaeffer Farm.”

“Historic Schaefferstown is always looking for new members, new volunteers to just help preserve and maintain our historical sites,” she added. The organization offers a range of volunteer opportunities for those looking to get involved.

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Lexi Gonzalez is a reporter for LebTown. She is currently completing her bachelor's degree at Lebanon Valley College.


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