This annual event was conceived over ten years ago and is now firmly established itself as a local tradition in Sussex County. 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 8 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 hosted more entertianment; both establishments offered a German-themed menu for the day.
2012 saw the Market expand once more. 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.
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. The year 2012 saw approximately $15,000 distributed among fifteen local charities. These charities and organizations include United Way of Sussex County,
the German Language Departments of the Sparta School Districts (scholarship), Domestic Abuse Services Inc (DASI) of Newton,
First Presbyterian Church of Sparta – Food Bank
Partnership of Social Services
Meals on Wheels
Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation
Coupons for the community
Sussex County Arts Council
Center for Prevention & Counseling
Lenape Valley Regional High School – German Language Department
Our best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season,
The Lake Mohawk Weihnachtsmarkt Committee