Sparta's largest event at Christmas time may not happen next year -at least not hosted by The Lake Mohawk Country Club (LMCC).
The club has stated that due to safety concerns that resulted from ever-growing crowds each year, LMCC will no longer host the annual German Christmas Market.
The event kicks off with a day of shopping and entertainment on the Boardwalk and surrounding area, followed by two days of the market being open to the public. Crowds enjoyed German foods, imported goods, local vendor displays, a petting zoo and entertainment each year. But the event grew so large that LMCC can no longer host it. The event, which was run by volunteers, was exceedingly profitable for local vendors. The market's board, founded in 2001 and aiming to "give back" to the community through the annual German Christmas Market, was informed of LMCC's decision in a meeting with the Board of Trustees on Friday evening, Jan. 18, 2020.
The Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market Board has, since its inception in 2001, had a mission of giving back to the community. Once overhead costs of the event are settled, all remaining profits from the event are donated to local charities. In 2018, the market donated $39,400 to more than 20 community agencies and hopes to match that amount again this year, according to Judy Beelaert, the market’s board president. Over the years the market has donated more than $350,000 to local charities.
The Market's Board President, Judy Beelaert states that it remains to be seen if they Market can continue. The LMCC Trustees have offered assistance if the Market Board decides to hold the event elsewhere.At an October meeting LMCC Board of Trustees's former president Bob Atkinson, Ernie Hofer and Eleanor Young left and new members Christina Repka (President), Doug Vance, Brian Foley, Bryan Matsinger were welcomed.
The decision to end its hosting of the event comes just a couple of weeks before 2020 vendor packets were to be mailed out. The German Market was started 19 years ago, by four women of German descent, accompanied by volunteers, in organizing the market.