This annual event was conceived over ten years ago and is now firmly established itself as a local tradition in Sussex County. It is now recognized as the latest Annual Christmas Market in the Sate of New Jersey and is the ONLY Market to be run specifically to donate back into the community.
The idea was brought to life in 2001 by a group of volunteers desiring nothing more than to raise funds for local charities, while creating a unique event that is open to the public along the idyllic boardwalk of the Lake Mohawk Country Club.
Lake Mohawk and it’s surrounding countryside has been a magnet for immigrants of German decent. The Bavarian village architecture and local shoppes show this influence. The group that formed the Market was nostalgic for the German Christmas Market they grew up with and decided what better setting than Lake Mohawk to bring a long-loved tradition to America.
For the first 12 years, the market opened after the traditional First Friday in December Tree-Lighting ceremony on the boardwalk hosted by the Lake Mohawk Country Club. Open late into the evening and then all day Saturday the market was open for shoppers. It was completely held on the boardwalk and often snow would lace the tents and a cold wind might show up across the lake. As the market’s reputation grew, so did the numbers of visitors. The tree-lighting ceremony was followed by a members-only banquet in the Ballroom so space was getting cramped. There were also calls to extend the market to Sunday.
In 2010, the market was moved from Friday-Saturday to Saturday-Sunday. While this upset some patrons – they could no longer shop after the tree-lighting – it did allow the market for the first time to have indoor space, thus increasing the vendors and providing warmth for the shoppers. A Deutsche Cafe was setup in the Elk’s Club hosting 4 food vendors and seating, and more vendors signed up for outside space in addition to new inside space in the Lake Mohawk Country Club Ballroom.
In 2011, with further growth and support from the community and merchants the market expanded into White Deer Plaza. Krogh’s Restaurant and Brew Pub hosted a vendor tent and live music. Arthur’s St. Mortiz ( Now St. Moritz Grill & Bar), hosted more entertianment; both establishments offered a German-themed menu for the day.
2012 saw the Market expand once again. A Carousel was situated in White Deer Plaza next door to the newly renovated St. Moritz Grill & Bar that was enjoyed by many children and parents alike. Additionally the Market continues to expand along the Boardwalk, with some 6 additional vendors that spread all the way down to an entertainment tent on Beach #1. 2012 was also the first year that Lake Mohawk Country Club totally embraced the Market allowing the full use of the building. This allowed additional vendors to be placed inside the Papoose Room and inside entertainment to take place inside the Mohawk Room. Our vendor attendance was once more sold out and we were able to double the number of local groups that brought their entertainment skills for our enjoyment.
2013 will see the numbers of Vendors continue to grow as we seek to expand further along the Lake Mohawk Boardwalk from Beach #1 towards the playground. After the 2012 success of the carousel, this years children’s activity will be a charming trackless train that can be found at the main entrance to the Lake Mohawk Country Club.
The vendors either on the boardwalk or inside the Country Club offer unique and traditional gift items: from European chocolates to hand-crafted pottery, fine artisans will offer works across a variety of mediums such as woods and fabrics. As you browse the market you will find timeless German traditional hand crafted wooden nutcrackers, pyramids, schwibbogen and smoker men to decorate your home for the holidays.
While you personalize your holiday shopping, tantalizing smells will dance among the vendors set along the picturesque lakefront, as traditional items from sizzling German sausages, sumptuous soups, goulash and sauerbraten to hand warming hot chocolate, apple struedel, linzer tarts, and gingerbread men and warmed mulled spice wine (gluhwein) are prepared among the festive chorus’s of local school choirs and entertainers.
The continued generosity of our sponsors & service providers our group of dedicated volunteers to continue to organize this truly unique event in a truly wonderful setting. A special thank you to our major sponsor, Lake Mohawk Country Club and staff.
The Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market delivers fun and festivity to everyone, but importantly, proceeds raised are then distributed back into the local community.
Our best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,
The Lake Mohawk Weihnachtsmarkt Committee
2012 Donations from the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market
Press release 26th February 2013
Record Year for Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market
Today at the Lake Mohawk Country Club the German Christmas Market Committee will be distributing the proceeds raised from the 2012 annual show.
On many different levels the 2012 German Christmas Market was a record show. It was the first year that the Lake Mohawk Country Club fully embraced the Market allowing the entire building to be used to host additional vendors and indoor entertainment. As a result a record number of vendors were showcased and twice the number of local entertainment groups from our surrounding schools and academies performed for everyone’s enjoyment. The Market saw a record number of people attending & it was estimated that approximately 6500 people per day started their annual Christmas shopping or simply dropped by to have a Gluhwein or German Bratwurst.
It was also the first year that saw many of Sparta’s volunteer groups working together. The Kiwanis and both the Knights & Squires of Columbus were proud contributors that donated their time to the Market, resulting in their own record-breaking collections for the charities of their choice.
The German Christmas Market Committee will be donating money to the following groups and organizations:
2012 Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market
Donations to Charities and Supporting Organizations
United Way of Sussex County $2000
First Presbyterian Church of Sparta – Food Bank $1500
DASI (Domestic Abuse Services Inc) $500
Partnership for Social Services $500
Meals on Wheels $500
Samaritan Inn $500
Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation $500
Coupons for the Community $500
Ginnie’s House $500
Manna House $500
Sussex County Arts Council $500
Center for Prevention and Counseling $500
Birth Haven $500
Lenape Valley Regional High School – German Language Dept $300
Sparta Board of Education – German Language Dept $1500
In-kind awards recognized:
Squires of Columbus
Knights of Columbus
Boy Scout Troop # 82
German Language School of Morris County
Coupons for the Community
Total Direct Donations 2012 – $10800
In-kind awards – $2150
Total Donations for 2012 – $12950
A New Record for Charitable donations from the German Christmas Market Committee
Since the Market was started in 2001 approximately $ 115,000 has been donated back in to the local community. It can now proudly call itself the largest Christmas Market in the State of New Jersey, and, with the continued help from our corporate sponsors, Bayer HealthCare & Eastern Propane, the Market will continue to grow as we continue to expand in future years. A Big Thank You also to our additional sponsors and to everyone that came to the Boardwalk to enjoy the festivities. It is with EVERYONE’S contribution that the Market has become a truly wonderful & successful show.
Helena Bould & Judy Beelaert
LMCC German Christmas Market Co-Chairs