Record Number of Artisans Set to Welcome Guests for Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem’s 25th Year
Photo: Craig Roberts
BETHLEHEM, PA—Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem, the popular holiday marketplace that has attracted more than one million people to the Christmas City over the past quarter-century, celebrates its Silver Anniversary this year with a record number of vendors, new attractions and more holiday cheer than ever! Admission tickets for the event, which takes place weekends, Nov. 17-Dec. 23, at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, are on sale now at www.christmascity.org and 610-332-3378.
Established in 1993, Christkindlmarkt is a one-of-a-kind holiday experience that brings the spirit of Bethlehem, the Christmas City, alive with the season. Twice recognized as one of the top holiday markets in the nation by Travel + Leisure, this heart-warming holiday event features aisles of handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans – with thousands of unique gift ideas for family and friends – as well as live Christmas music; an authentic German St. Nicholas; and European favorites like wursts and strudel. For families, there are also ice carving demonstrations, where children can watch talented sculptors using picks, chainsaws and blowtorches to create works of art from ice; and glassblowing sessions, where kids ages 6 and older can work hand-in-hand with artists to blow their own glass ornaments. Cost to take part in an ornament making session is $50 and early registration is highly recommended as most spots fill in advance.
This year’s Christkindlmarkt features its largest array of Christmas items and collectibles ever, with up to 165 artisans and vendors each weekend. Among the 25 new artists are Mélange “Seriously Fun Art” of Gap, Pa., showcasing hand-drawn, highly detailed black & white ink drawings; and Chocolate Moonshine Company of Glenmoore, Pa., which offers handmade fudge and its signature Moonshine Bars that look and taste like works of art. In all, close to 190 artisans and vendors will visit Christkindlmarkt during its six-weekend run, with vendors coming from more than 20 states.
German ornament designer Käthe Wohlfarht, one of the main attractions of Christkindlmarkt, is also back for 2017, celebrating its 18th straight year at the market. Renowned for its exquisite, handmade nutcrackers, incense smokers, pyramids, schwibbogens and wood, glass and pewter ornaments, Käthe Wohlfarht offers more than 2,000 products at Christkindlmarkt each year. For 2017, it has also partnered with the event for a special Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem limited-edition 25th anniversary ornament, the first-ever ornament it has made exclusively for North American Christmas market.
New highlights for 2017 include:
Expanded Children’s Crafts Area – Work with the professional artists of the Banana Factory to make pop-up holiday cards, paper snowflake “quilts,” ornaments and snowmen. Saturdays-Sundays, noon-4 p.m.
United States Postal Service’s ‘Big Blue Box’ – Ship your purchases directly from Christkindlmarkt to family and friends! The “Big Blue Box” offers convenient postal services including flat-rate shipping, stamps and packing supplies. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Drop While You Shop Creative Workshops – Let your children (ages 4 and older) participate in fun, hands-on workshops while you shop. Workshops include cast paper tiles, Mason jar snow globes, wooden snowman necklaces and snowflake suncatchers. Offered Dec. 2, 9 & 16 from 1-2 p.m.; cost is $12 per child.
Christkindlmarkt Package Check – Enjoy hands-free shopping while you dine, watch performances and check out all the artists; presented by United States Postal Service.
Christkindlmarkt Dates, Hours & Admission Prices:
Nov. 17-19 & 24-26
Nov. 30-Dec. 3
Dec. 7-10, 14-17 & 21-23
Thursday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 23, closes at 6 p.m.
$9 – ages 13 and older
$5 – children ages 6-12
Free – ages 5 and under
$18 – Season Pass for ages 13 and older
Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem takes place at PNC Plaza at SteelStacks, located at 645 E. First St., Bethlehem, with convenient free parking adjacent to the venue. Partners helping to make the holiday marketplace possible include Capital BlueCross, Coca-Cola Bottling of the Lehigh Valley, Crayola, FLYLVIA, Franklin Hill Vineyards, Just Born Quality Confections, PNC Bank, Star Auto Mall, Service Electric Cable TV & Communications, United States Postal Service and Univest Bank and Trust Co. For more information, visit www.christmascity.org or call 610-332-3378.