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Christkindlmarkt Gets the Community in the Christmas Spirit

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Christkindlmarkt Gets the Community in the Christmas Spirit

The Bethlehem Steelstacks located near Christkindlmarkt.

The Bethlehem Steelstacks located near Christkindlmarkt.

Kaytlyn Gordon

The Bethlehem Steelstacks located near Christkindlmarkt.

Kaytlyn Gordon

Kaytlyn Gordon

The Bethlehem Steelstacks located near Christkindlmarkt.

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Christkindlmarkt is a beloved holiday tradition in Bethlehem that derives from the same German of much of the city itself. This market is a one-of-a-kind event where attendees can enjoy the festive atmosphere and do some Christmas shopping.

The festival, which is located at the Steelstacks on Bethlehem’s southside, opened on Friday, Nov. 16. In order to write this article, I — along with my co-reporter, Nathaniel Rhoads ‘19, — ventured across the Fahy Bridge via the Christmas City Trolley and over to Christkindlmarkt that following Sunday.

Upon entering the marketplace after purchasing our $10 admission tickets, we were greeted by vendors offering us free toffee. Of course, we accepted. In fact, if we wanted to we could have sampled any and every flavor of toffee we wanted.

As we moved through the colossal white tent housing all the crafts and food, we were met with even more samples. We tried locally-sourced cheese, gourmet chocolate, and, because we were of age, an intriguing blueberry wine.

As we strolled through the isles of tables, we were able to look more closely at the kinds of goods being offered, such as jewelry, soap, hand-knitted purses, handmade wreaths and decorations, candles, treats for fur babies, photographs, and my personal favorite, vinyl records turned sculptures (to name only a few).

In addition to the vendors’ crafts, there was also live entertainment, food stands, glass blowing tutorials, and ice sculptures created with a chainsaw.

All too often around this time of year, we get frazzled by gift giving and just purchase our mom the first thing that pops up on Amazon (and trust me, she doesn’t need another “world’s best mom” mug). Wouldn’t it be better if we found gifts that actually mean something to our loved ones? And on top of that, what if we supported local shops and artists?

Instead of frantically running to Target mere days before Christmas Day, go to Christkindlmarkt instead.

Supporting local artists and entrepreneurs is much more important than we realize. Sure, you could buy a cheap product from a large corporation or you could buy a handcrafted item from someone who put all their energy into making it beautiful. And from a more logical standpoint, you’ll also be stimulating the local economy.

So before you buy a standard, factory-made sweater, consider shopping locally at Christkindlmarkt and supporting a local vendor who made their products with care. Not to mention you can enjoy a nice cup of mulled wine and free samples as you peruse everything the festival has to offer.

Christkindlmarkt is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and runs until Dec. 23, so there’s still plenty of time to get over there and do some holiday shopping.

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