“Thank you, but no” was the message the Lake Mohawk Country Club Board of Trustees delivered to the German Christmas Market at its January meeting Monday night.
LMCC will not be hosting the 2020 German Christmas Market, the board said.
In a statement outlining its position, the board cited a number of factors that went into the decision, including traffic and illegal parking, crowd noise, music volume and the failure of attempts to have a truly private event for LMCC members.
In short, the LMCC venue “cannot continue to safely accommodate the crowds generated by this event,” the board said in its statement.
With a finite number of parking spaces in LMCC’s lot, and most of those taken by GCM vendors and volunteers, overflow vehicles are often parked on the surrounding streets, making travel difficult for emergency vehicles and residents alike, the board said.
Citing the example of the Saturday power outage during last year’s market, the board noted that utility crews could not easily access the area to make repairs due to illegally parked vehicles.
Event admission or parking fees were floated as attempts at crowd control, however, the idea of fees was met with public opposition, the board said.
The board also said members have communicated frustration each year that the members-only night was not enforced and was open to everyone.
“As stewards of LMCC, we did not take this decision lightly,” the board said in its statement. “The German Christmas Market is a time-honored tradition much loved by the vast majority of this community. The board and GM would have loved to continue the tradition; however, we could not manage the event in the way needed to accommodate our members and ensure safety.”
In a statement posted to its web site, the GCM board said it had been hopeful that a solution could be worked out.
“The market had hoped that the recent efforts to partner with the club trustees to address these concerns would be met with equal enthusiasm,” the GCM board said. “Based on the action of the trustees, this is not the case.”
The news “came as a blow,” the GCM board stated.
“Over the past 19 years, the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market has grown from a small afternoon affair consisting of a handful of vendors to a three-day event heralding in the holiday season. With a multitude of vendors, entertainment and goodwill, the market prides itself for having become a regional tradition that the community had supported for so long.”
According to the GCM board, of equal importance is the tradition of giving back to the community. More than $350,000 has been donated to local charities since 2001 to help those in need, the board said.
“Plans for a 2020 market are on hold at this time,” the GCM board said. “Thank you for all your support.”