Holiday Market Draws Nearly 65,000 People to the Christmas City During the Christmas Season
Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem’s unique holiday shopping extravaganza and some of the nicest December weather in recent memory combined to make Christkindlmarkt’s 23rd year one for the record books, with 64,612 people attending the event during its five-weekend run. Attendance at the market, which took place weekends Nov. 20-Dec. 20, was up 2.5 percent over the previous record of 63,046 people, set in 2011.
“Bethlehem’s reputation as the Christmas City continues to grow, making it one of the top destinations on the East Coast for those who are looking for a magical experience during the holidays,” says Kassie Hilgert, President and CEO of ArtsQuest, the nonprofit that presents Christkindlmarkt. “Each year there are more than 25 different organizations presenting holiday activities and attractions throughout Bethlehem. Everyone in the Historic Moravian District and SouthSide Arts District comes together to make this a great experience for all our guests, and we are very proud to be one of the centerpieces of the city’s annual holiday celebration.”
Recognized as one of the best holiday markets in the world by both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, Christkindlmarkt features aisles of handmade works by the nation’s finest artisans, live Christmas music, delicious food, an authentic German St. Nicholas and more. The 2015 Christkindlmarkt included more than 135 different vendors, with artists coming from as far away as Florida, Maine and New Hampshire. During its five-weekend run, the market also featured a number of demonstrating artists and hands-on activities including opportunities for guests to make their own silk scarves, glass holiday balls and children’s Christmas ornaments. Proceeds from Christkindlmarkt will go to support ArtsQuest’s arts and cultural programming for the region, approximately 65 percent of which is free to attend.
“Christkindlmarkt is one of the main revenue sources supporting our free festivals and educational programs for our community,” says Hilgert. “We thank all of the artists, vendors, volunteers, sponsors and patrons who came together to make this year’s market a huge success. Their support of the event will have an impact on our region well beyond the holiday season.”
One of those free events, PEEPSFEST®, kicks off next week, with two free days of family fun Dec. 30-31. The festival, presented by ArtsQuest and Just Born Quality Confections, includes live music, family entertainment, arts & crafts and plenty of PEEPS®-related activities, highlighted by the giant PEEPS® Chick drop and fireworks Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m.
Dates for Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem 2016 are Nov. 18-20 and 25-27 and Dec. 1-4, 8-11 and 15-18, 2016. For more information, visit www.christmascity.org/christkindlmarkt/.