German Christmas Market
Saturday November 9th – 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sunday November 10th – 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Harmony Museum’s annual WeihnachtsMarkt, a Christmas
market in the German tradition that has become a major
regional attraction, will be held on Saturday and Sunday,
Nov. 9-10 in the heart of Harmony’s National Historic
The festival has also become the museum’s prime annual
fundraiser while presenting seasonal gift-shopping in a
family-fun atmosphere. The thousands of visitors who attend
each year find handcrafted and German imports. Artisans and
vendors are chosen to participate based on the quality of
their offerings; no stereotypical "shopping mall festival"
stuff here. Entertainment, food and refreshments also
reflect Harmony’s German heritage.
Market hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and noon
to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for
seniors, $3 for students, free for children younger than
six, including all-day access to the market, museum,
entertainment and wagon rides.
The eight-site Harmony Museum is operated by Historic
Harmony, a nonprofit, volunteer historical society and
preservation advocate established in 1943.
Harmony, a National Historic Landmark District, is the
region’s most significant individual historic site. Its
heritage includes a local Delaware Indian village; the
mission by a young George Washington that helped spark the
French and Indian War; the town’s 1804 founding by communal
Lutheran German Separatists seeking separation of church and
state; the first Mennonite church west of the Alleghenies;
the late 19th century oil boom that’s being repeated with
the 21st century’s Marcellus-Utica natural gas play, and
More than 40 artisans and specialty vendors provide the
market part of WeihnachtsMarkt. Museum quilters and weavers
demonstrate their work. There are model railroad displays in
the museum’s Wagner House annex.
This year’s entertainment includes Alpen Schuhplattlers,
Augsburg Band, Burke’s Bavarian Brass, Pittsburgh Swiss
Singers and the Acme Tunes hammered dulcimer ensemble.
German foods and refreshments include soup, bratwurst and
sauerbraten sandwiches, German potato salad, baked goods and
mulled cider. A winery offers tastings and sales.
Several market artisans demonstrate their skills while
offering 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 merchants offer German and other European
goods from toys, nutcrackers and smokers to recorded music.
At nightfall Saturday, visitors join in caroling at the
lighting of a live Christmas tree. It serves as the museum’s
long-time Christmas season Giving Tree -- each donor’s
contribution hangs an ornament on the tree.
Harmony’s specialty shops present even more opportunities
for visitors who collect or enjoy giving works by regional
artists, collectibles, jewelry, or vintage/distinctive
clothing and accessories.
Harmony is at I-79 exits 87-88, about 10 miles north of
the Pennsylvania Turnpike, 30 miles north of Pittsburgh’s
downtown Point and 30 miles south of I-80. Follow
directional signs to plentiful free parking; several lots
are linked to the market by continuous free shuttle service.
The architectural character of Harmony reflects that of the
German villages from which its founders came. Many area
Harmonist and Mennonite buildings survive; the community's
award-winning preservation efforts have long attracted