Twenty years ago, a handful of friends who shared the treasured experience of visiting Christmas markets in Germany, founded one of their own to share with their friends, neighbors and communities here in Sussex County.
The goal of that first Christmas Market in 2001 was to give to the community a reason to come together and celebrate the beginning of the Holiday Season, particularly after experiencing great tragedy as a nation just a few months prior. And so, the Market during that first weekend in December with a dozen or so vendors, local school bands and choral groups, lots of good food and cheer, was created.
Throughout the years that goal has become the mission of the Market and developed into the one distinguishing feature setting this event apart from any other Christmas Market in this Country as well as Europe... it is nonprofit with proceeds given back to local charities. Fast track to 2019, the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market is still an event held the first weekend in December, celebrated over three days, hosting over 120 vendors with a full 2-day entertainment schedule. Over that time the organizing Committee, all volunteers by the way, has been able to give well over $300,000 back to local charities and other nonprofits.
With this success the popularity of the Market had also grown, challenging the hosting limits of the Lake Mohawk Country Club, resulting in the need of venue change for the twentieth year. The Committee would like to thank all those who had graciously offered to host the future Market. They provided the needed incentive to continue. Going back to the primary mission of the German Christmas Market, this event must stay in the community – the Sussex County community.
After an extensive evaluation of all the criteria needed to accommodate an event of this size and attendance, it was clear that the choices were limited. Of all the wonderful communities and venues available in Sussex County, three had quickly risen to the top as viable new locations for the Market. The decision of choice was very difficult given the unique benefits each of these has to offer.
The Committee would like to thank owners, managers and representatives from Crystal Springs, the Shoppes at Lafayette and the Sussex County Fairgrounds as well as special thanks to Tammie Horsfield, President of Sussex County Chamber of Commerce, all of whom have greatly assisted in this selection process. The venue best suited to the continuance of the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market is the Sussex County Fairgrounds. This choice is based on meeting not only the current needs and criteria of the 20th Anniversary Market but also those of the future Markets, as we transition from a locally based event to a regional affair with local roots.
As a bonus the Fairgrounds is seen as a partner with similar goals as a non-profit organization established for the educational and cultural give back to the community. For it remains the mission of the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market to provide an event authentic to its’ beginnings as a community-centric celebration of the Holiday Season and giving back to those less fortunate within our community. This event has only been possible each of the past 19 years with the generosity from our sponsors and the time from our volunteers. This coming year the demand for both will greater than ever to secure the success in our new home.
So if you are interested in giving time or sponsorship, please visit our website and contact us or donate: www.lakemohawkgermanchristmasmarket.com
The German Christmas Market Committee