Holiday Craft Fairs – 2016 edition

Here we are in mid-November, and the first local holiday craft fair of the season has already come and gone (last Saturday at Hereford Elementary School).

But this weekend, right before Thanksgiving, is when the calendar really fills up with possibilities. One can spend the day driving from Palm to Lansdale and then backtrack to Bethlehem (although the two Christmas Markets in Bethlehem will continue through mid-December, so you can pace yourself).

Palm Schwenkfelder Church, 833 Gravel Pike (Rt. 29), Palm, hosts it’s annual Ladies’ Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, November 19, 2016 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Coffee, baked goods, and lunch (homemade soup and sandwiches) will also be for sale at this craft fair.

The North Penn Holiday Craft Market, which showcases traditional and contemporary crafts created by over 95 artists, is held at North Penn High School, 1340 S. Valley Forge Road, Lansdale, PA. The doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, November 19th and remain open until 4:30 p.m. There is a small admittance charge (discount coupons here), the proceeds of which go to benefit North Penn’s student exchange program. A delicious lunch may also be bought here, when taking a break from shopping.

The Christkindlmarkt on the southside of Bethlehem, by the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks (101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, PA) opens on Friday, November 18th and continues through December 18th, Thursdays through Sundays (with the exception of Thanksgiving when it will be closed). Single day and season pass tickets may be bought online or at the gate. Christkindlmarkt is held within two very large heated tents. In addition to artisans booths, there is a range of musical performances offered each day, food for sale, daily glassblowing demonstrations, an opportunity to make your own blown glass ornament, ice sculpting demonstrations, and a Crayola Creativity Station for children on Saturdays and Sundays. Thursdays and Sundays: 11am – 6pm, Fridays and Saturdays: 11am – 8pm.

Over the past two decades, Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem has delighted more than one million guests from near and far with its mix of unique gift ideas, old-world charm and holiday cheer. This dynamic festival celebrates the magic of the holidays with a five-week run that features more than 125 vendors each week.

On the other side of the river, in Historic Downtown Bethlehem, you can walk around the outdoor Christmas City Village (no admission charge, and in some ways more similar to those found in Germany; small wooden vendors’ booths out in the cold) starting on Friday, November 18 through December 18th, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Christmas City Village is an authentic German Weihnachtsmarkt, located in the heart of Historic Downtown Bethlehem. Visit charming wooden huts, dressed for the holidays and filled with unique holiday gift ideas.

Now take a breath, and take out your calendar to mark down more of the upcoming holiday fairs in our area.

The annual Der Belsnickel Craft Show at Boyertown Junior High School (380 S. Madison, Boyertown, PA) will once again be held the weekend after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 25th from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, November 26, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. This juried craft fair does charge a small admittance fee ($5).

Marlborough Elementary School (1450 Gravel Pike, Green Lane, PA) holds its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, December 3, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Goschenhoppen Historians are hosting their Eleventh Annual Christmas Market on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4, 2016 (Saturday 9:30 to 4, Sunday noon to 4) at three locations;

The Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center (105 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA) is featuring sales of local artwork and crafts. Be sure to see their ever evolving Putz.

The Mennonite Heritage Center  (565 Yoder Road, Harleysville, PA) will feature special holiday exhibits and their annual Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Art sale from the finest traditional craftsmen – “Christmas Market: Treasures & Traditions through Time”

Red Men’s Hall (Route 29 and 63, Green Lane, PA);

The Moravian Putz is at the top of the stairs and the stage is filled with Matt Roan’s standard gauge trains and village.

On Saturday young musicians will play the grand piano and on Sunday visitors will be entertain by Festival fiddlers.

Traditional 19th century decorations festoon the Country Store.  Tradition has it that the storekeeper gives a free orange to each good child who visits the Store….Or is it the Belsnickle??  You’ll have to come and see!!!  The Folk Life Museum has special seasonal displays and docents will be ready to answer visitor’s questions about all the exhibits.

Beautiful handcrafted items are for sale.  New craftspeople have joined our regulars this year and the selection of gift items must really be seen to be appreciated.  We have several tables of vintage, collectible Christmas ornaments, decorations, and toys, vintage books and postcards as well as own Goschenhoppen books and cards.  All of the items make wonderful gifts for the season to either give or keep for yourself.

Never to be missed is the Bake Sale and Kum Esse in the basement boardroom.

Finally (for this post, anyway), the Christmas Bazaar at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Route 63) in Sumneytown, PA, will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 9 a.m .- 2 p.m.

Come out and get some holiday shopping done, have lunch, pick up your holiday cookies and candy, have your picture taken with Santa and buy a ticket for the quilt raffle! A portion of the proceeds from vendor table rentals will go to Open Link’s “Adopt-a-Family” program and the quilt raffle proceeds benefit the Open Link fuel fund.


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