Boardwalk home to tenth annual Weihnachtsmarkt

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:32

Started in 2001, the German Market has become a tradition SPARTA — With trees, wreaths, and ornaments lining the thoroughfare, the boardwalk at Lake Mohawk was transformed into a Christmastime marketplace this past Saturday and Sunday. Christmas and Holiday tunes were broadcast through amplifiers placed inside and out, playing recordings as well as live performances by local school children. The entertainment and merchant tents spilled across the street to Krogh’s Restaurant & Brew Pub and Arthur’s St. Moritz. The Weihnachtsmarkt event has one main intention — to raise funds for local charities in a unique and festive atmosphere. Lake Mohawk Country Club and the connecting boardwalk as the main location, the volunteers, service providers, additional sponsors worked in concert with 60 merchants to raise funds that will be distributed back to charitable community organizations. Coupons for the Community, a Sparta-based organization, had a table and offered information on the positive impact and ease of how citizens can help local charities by simply donating coupons. Founder Suzanne Stigers, along with several longtime volunteers, collected coupons and non-perishable food items, including health and beauty aids for the local food pantry. Holiday shoppers had a plethora of presents to choose from to fulfill their holiday wish lists. Artisans set up shop to sell their handmade wares that ranged from pottery and baskets, to carved wooden décor and furniture. There were toys galore and even gifts for pets. Santa was there to welcome the children and find out if they had been naughty or nice. Many, such as 9-month old Kelly Chase, granddaughter of Sparta residents John and Brenda Klumpp, posed for keepsake pictures with Lake Mohawk as the backdrop. Jolly ole St Nick also made time to greet visitors of the market from with waves and ho-ho-hos while paddle surfing alongside the boardwalk in the afternoon. Professional wood carver, Brett McLain of Freehand Custom Creations, set up an outdoor workshop at the entrance to the boardwalk where he carved and painted wooden gifts on the spot. By mainly using a chainsaw, an ordinary tree log became a sculpted bear as spectators watched. To complete the atmosphere, authentic food and beverages were available including German beer and gluehwein (mulled spiced wine), bratwurst and sauerbraten, goulash, spaetzel, and schnitzels. Those with a sweet tooth were treated to a choice of handmade chocolates, apple strudels, or cinnamon sprinkled Stroopies to name a few.