Harmony Museum to Hold 22nd Annual German Style Christmas Market Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11 -- Quality German Crafts, Artisans, Music and Family Fun --

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The Harmony Museum’s 22nd annual WeihnachtsMarkt, a Christmas market in the German tradition that’s grown into a major regional attraction, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11 in the heart of Harmony’s National Historic landmark District.

The Harmony Museum’s 22nd annual WeihnachtsMarkt, a Christmas market in the German tradition that’s grown into a major regional attraction, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11 in the heart of Harmony’s National Historic landmark District.

The festival is the museum’s prime annual fundraiser. It presents seasonal gift-shopping in an atmosphere of family-fun that offers handcrafted and imported-from-Germany goods as well as an important antique show and sale. Artisans and vendors are chosen for their reputation for high-quality offerings, so don’t expect stereotypical "shopping mall festival" stuff here. Entertainment, food and refreshments also reflect Harmony’s historically significant German heritage.

Market hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students, free for children younger than six. This includes all-day access to the market, museum tours, entertainment and wagon rides. Proceeds benefit Historic Harmony and its museum.

More than 40 artisans and specialty vendors and more than a dozen antique dealers in quality antiques make up this year’s market. Museum quilters and weavers will demonstrate their work. A model railroad display in the Wagner House museum annex expands this year with the antique Yobp-Eckstein log village and O gauge railroad joined by a HO platform and a wood train preschoolers can play with.

Ongoing WeihnachtsMarkt entertainment includes favorites Alpen Schuhplattlers of the Pittsburgh Teutonia Mannerchor, West Virginia’s Wha-ke-we-nn hammered dulcimer ensemble, Burke’s Baviarian Brass, and Pittsburgh Swiss Singers.

German foods and refreshments include soup, bratwurst and sauerbraten sandwiches, potato pancakes, German potato salad, baked goods and mulled cider. A winery offers tastings and sales.

Market artisan vendors often demonstrate their skills while selling items as diverse as embroidery; dolls; wood ware and boxes; jewelry; linens; games; wood carvings and furniture; ornaments; paintings, drawings, scherenschnitte (cut paper), silhouettes and sculpture; foodstuffs, including German roasted nuts, olive oils and vinegars; German-style tatting, and knitted and woven goods; glassware; red ware, stone ware and other pottery; greeting cards and stationary; herbs, plants and flowers; salves, cosmetics and teas; books and historical maps; punched tin; clocks; soaps and lotions; stained glass; and locally forged iron ware. Select merchant booths offer German and other European imported goods ranging from traditional toys, nutcrackers and smokers to recorded music.

Youngsters will enjoy meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus and activities at the museum’s Andrew Ziegler log house annex. Rides through the historic district on a horse-drawn wagon are especially popular with families. At nightfall Saturday, everyone is invited to carol while a live Christmas tree is lighted. It serves as the museum’s annual Giving Tree -- also a fundraiser by which each donor’s modest contribution puts an ornament on the tree.

Harmony’s specialty shops along Main, Mercer and Wood streets present even more opportunities for those who collect or give the work of regional artists, antiques, collectibles, jewelry, and vintage and other distinctive clothing and accessories.

Harmony is at I-79 exits 87-88, about 10 miles north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and 30 miles south of I-80. Follow directional signs to plentiful free parking; several lots are linked to the market by free continuous shuttle service. The architectural character of Harmony reflects that of rural German villages from which its founders came. Many area Harmonist and Mennonite buildings survive, and the community's award-winning preservation efforts have long attracted recognition.

About The Harmony Museum
The eight-site Harmony Museum is operated by Historic Harmony, a nonprofit, volunteer historical society and preservation advocate established in 1943. Harmony, which includes Pennsylvania’s first National Historic Landmark District outside Philadelphia, is the region’s single most significant historic site. Its heritage includes Delaware Indians, George Washington and the French and Indian War’s beginning more than 250 years ago; communal Christian Germans who fled religious persecution for Pennsylvania’s separation of church and state at the dawn of the 19th century; the first Mennonite congregation west of the Alleghenies; the late 19th century oil and natural gas boom that’s being repeated with this century’s huge Marcellus natural gas play, and much more. Visit
http://www.harmonymuseum.org hmuseum (at) zoominternet (dot) net
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10-28-2012

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Frank Catanzano
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