Arts & Entertainment

Thousands Converge On Annual Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market

Attendees at the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market mingle on the Boardwalk. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Sandra Meyer (left) holds up a plate and mug commissioned for the German Christmas Market, with mother Karin Meyer (right) in the background. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Cars pack the parking lot beneath the Lake Mohawk Country Club and Boardwalk. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
A steady stream of customers enter the Papoose Room. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Bonnie Bitondo of Maxwell & Molly's Closet Pet Boutique holds up a sweater, ready to give to a four-legged friend. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
A special Advent Calendar for dogs, with refillable spots for pet treats. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
"Bone Appetite" items from Maxwell & Molly's Closet Pet Boutique. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
An array of dresses from Mother Moon. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Items, including special custom music boxes, from Frogmore Country Elegance. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Photos from Maggie Davis-Jelly, to benefit HOW Global. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Vendors in the Lake Mohawk Country Club Ballroom. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Sara Megletti, owner of PB&J Stores, with Jennifer Fratangelo, at the store's booth. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Dawn Gomez, right, of Garden of Life Massage & Yoga Center, has customers pack her booth. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Deborah Dewey holds up a photo from Daniel Baumgartner of 35mmphotos, which made the cover of the CenturyLink phone book. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Photos of Daniel Baumgartner on display, and for sale. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Customers choose decadent treats from the Candy Apple Shoppe; the merchant sold out of their chocolate-covered pretzels. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller
Christine Kretzmer serves up piping beverages on the Boardwalk. Credits: Jennifer Jean Miller

SPARTA, NJ - Setting off the holiday spirit, the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market treated residents of Sparta, and visitors, to a much needed healing after Hurricane Sandy. 

Pleasantly held at the historic boardwalk located in the Bavarian-Styled Lake Mohawk Plaza, vendors gathered on Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2, to showcase goods and services, while Christmas carols, such as Alvin and the Chipmunks’ “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)", and other favorites, played over large speakers, that could be heard even out in the outlying parking areas. 

Having originated in Germany, Christmas Markets date back to the late Middle Ages. The opening of the Christmas Market, or "Weihnachtsmarkt," is celebrated with food, drink, and seasonal items. 

Sign Up for E-News

Despite the cold weather visitors mingled both outdoors and in the Lake Mohawk Clubhouse, to the sights, sounds, and smells of a holiday festive atmosphere, with an ambiance all its own. Freshly popped kettle corn, Glühwein (a hot German mulled spiced wine), gingerbread, and sizzling German sausages, were on the list of “must tries.” And who could resist a cup of hand-warming hot chocolate?

The German village themed event marks its origins among the many German immigrants that settled and influenced the area. They brought the tradition of celebrating the “Advent” or arrival of “das Christkind” (Christ Child) on His “official” birthday, December 25. 

Even Pets were not left out of the festivities. Bonnie Bitondo, owner of Maxwell & Molly’s Closet Pet Boutique offered for sale a “Doggy Advent Calendar.” Bitondo described it as the perfect way for dogs to celebrate, and the calendar is stuffed with tasty treats to count down the days, in paws, of course. 

Bitondo commented, “Pets are elevated to family members,” and certainly her tables reflected that, with doggie bandanas, “Bone Appetite” gift sets, and even gifts for feline friends. 

Bitondo was pleased with her experiences at the Christmas Market. She said the foot traffic throughout the weekend was plentiful, and steady, and she met visitors from as far away as Bergen County.

“It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season,” she said. “When you think of what people have been through since the beginning of the month, it’s nice to start to celebrate.”

Of the organizers, and the event itself, Bitondo, who has had a booth there in previous years, added, “They’ve worked really hard to create new things; they keep improving their formula each year. There are so many volunteers. They have a great skeletal crew at all levels. It’s a very lovely venue. You feel very supported. It’s well worth it.”

A nice addition this year was a children’s wooden-horse carousel. Located in the White Deer Plaza near the St. Moritz Grill & Bar.

Karin Meyer, an original founding member of the German Christmas Market was born in Germany and came to Sparta in 1969. Inspired to bring a taste of German culture with her, in 2001 she and several volunteers started the first Christmas Market.

Meyer proudly stated that they wanted to, “Get the community together just like in Germany and do a little shopping for Christmas”.

They are now in their 11th year and the Market has become a Sussex Country local tradition. 

For the past 11 years, the Christmas Market has given $110,000 to local charities such as the United Way of Sussex County, Domestic Abuse Services Inc (DASI) of Newton, and the German Language Departments of the Sparta School Districts (scholarship).

Over the years, local merchants have also warmed to the concept, and have continued to support the festivities as a way to reach local customers.

Vendor Leigh and Mark Pecoriello, a husband and wife team who recently closed their brick and mortar storefront, Mother Moon Baby Boutique, were thrilled to see a lot of customers. They said they appreciate venues like the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market, and hope to inform their customers that they still are doing business in an online format through their website. 

Their clever slogan, “Stylish baby gifts for the Ultra Chic Mom” will keep customers coming back for more. They specialize in children’s murals, hand-painted furniture, and locally handmade items.

Sara Megletti of PB&J Stores offers fine clothing, handbags, and accessories. One of the more interesting products they had for sale were touch screen gloves, for use with touch screen devices. Megletti said that she initially started selling at shows, like the Lake Mohawk German Christmas Market, and has now opened up her own storefront in Newton. Remembering the name PB&J is easy, and Megletti, and her husband, Jim, coined the name after their favorite comfort food, which they felt reflected the ease of shopping at their store.

Garden of Life Yoga & Massage Center was also there, with a variety of gift items from their retail store. The store’s corner of the market was packed with customers by their table making purchases.  

Sparta photographer Daniel Baumgartner of 35mmphotos showcased his creative photography. Deborah Dewey, a company representative, stated that they were proud to announce that one of Baumgartner’s photos was chosen as the cover for the local Lake Mohawk Papoose Magazine. In addition, the publication of their 2013 Lake Mohawk Calendar is available for sale on their website. 

The first time at this venue, the Candy Apple Shoppe sales people were ecstatic, as crowds flocked to their array of hand-created candy apples.

“We did wonderful! We will be back next year”, Lauren Brophy, one of the owners, emphasized.

Participating vendors and groups were: Mohawk Gardens, Freehand wood Carvings, Kiwanis- Bell Ringing, Coupons for the Community, Cabin Creations by Marina, Boy Scouts Troop #82, Northeast Kettle Korn, Oaks Barrels, Sunrise Mountain Soap, Between Friends Antiques, Crazy Crocheted Fashions/More, Werner’s Carvings, South Side Silk Road Teas, Second Hand Mittens, Santa Hut, Alpine Confection, Lake Mohawk CC, Stroopies, CCG Collections, Candy Apple Shoppe, Sunflower Trading Co., Alstede Farms, The Market Place, Committee Hut, Augustin’s Waffles, DJ Hut, Lake Mohawk Country Club Brau Tent, Cupola & Weather Vanes, Fudgie Wudgie Fudge, Farm at Rainbow’s End, K of C Squires, German Language School of Morris County, High Point Harmonizers, Pope John Jazz Ensemble, Hilltop Country Day School, Children’s Choir of Sussex County, Biryukov Academy, Sparta High School (SHS) Choirs, Vernon High School Quartets, Harmony in Motion, Morning Door, Zephyr Vocal Ensemble, SMS German Students, Maria Jesus Valdes, German Language School, Jacqueline Kroschell, SHS German Students, SHS Saxophone Ensemble, SHS Brass Quintet, Pope John Chorus, Bill Wright & The Broken Hand Man Band, SCARC Choir, Lenape Valley German Club, Everything Home Made, Barbara’s Butter Crunch, Bacon Bites, JD Gourmet, Knights of Columbus, New American Bakery, Apple Ridge Farm, Gifts Galore, Lafayette Clayworks, Kim O’Hara Clay Designs, E. Christopher & Sons, Gratkowski Original Art, Nancy’s Handbags, Liza J. Smith-Simpson Art, Lorraine Blackmore, Chocolaterie, PatriPet, Garden of Life Massage & Yoga Center, Jersey Handbags & Accessories, Puppy Dog Tails, Astrid’s Artscapes, Gifts Galore, Rimi Studios, Toni Chaplin (artist), JoLi Crafts, Back to Wood, Mohawk Photos, The Jeweled PussyCat, Frogmore, Mother Moon Baby Boutique, Curly Girlie Designs, Katy Keen Beach Booty, Classic Goggles, Inc., Committee Hut, Carey Lane Accents, and Maxwell & Molly’s Pet Boutique.

Corporate Sponsors for the event were Bayer HealthCare (Consumer Care), and Eastern Propane. Platinum Sponsor was Grego Landscaping. Gold Sponsors were Roseann Aliano, Advantage Signs, Bernard Hefele Attorney at Law, Karin Meyer (Realtor), Lake Mohawk Beach 4, Randolph Auto Repair, Sussex Bank, Weichert Realtors, and Environmental & Biological Scientists at Rutgers University Horticultural/Teaching Greenhouse. And Silver Sponsors were: Dr. Stephen Candio, DDS, Dr. Frank Kane, Family Schludner, First Hope Bank, Golden Castle Jewelers, Il Porto, Lenard Vance (Plaza Barber Shop), Prism Placement Services, Sparta Discount Tire, Ultima Hair Design, and Dean Reinauer and Tom Murray.

Click here for the Annual Lake Mohawk Christmas Market's website.

Continue to follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County news, as well as news and community information on The Alternative Press of Sussex County’s Facebook Page.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Sparta Area Police Conduct Drive Sober Campaign

August 17, 2017

SPARTA, NJ – Once again Sparta Police will be participating in the statewide campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over aimed at stopping drunk driving.  The Sparta Police have received grant money from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety to increased patrols.  They have also gotten grant from the Attorney General’s Office Drunk Driving Enforcement Funds ...

Sparta Police: Driver Snorts Heroin While Driving and Crashes

SPARTA, NJ –The driver involved in a one car accident on Route 15 is facing multiple drug charges.  On August 10, Sparta Cpl. Frank Schomp and Cpl. Joseph Antonello went to investigate a crash reported in the area of Wilson Drive.  They found Tomas Molina had crashed his minivan into a utility pole, police report.

The 31-year-old Bloomfield man told the officers he had fallen ...

Sparta Man Charged with DWI Leaving Krogh's, Police Say

SPARTA, NJ – Before he could leave White Deer Plaza a Sparta man was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated.  Sparta Police Cpl. Joseph Antonello went to the plaza around 6 p.m. on August 8 after receiving a call about a drunk man leaving Krogh’s trying to drive his car, according to police.

Sparta Police Officer Lynott assisted as Zilvinas Bitinaitis, 53, was ...

Obituaries

- Jun 2, 2017
Jillian Mari Baluyot, 17, of Nutley, passed away on June 2, 2017. Born in Secaucus, she lived in ...
Read more
- Feb 21, 2017
Marisa Rincon (30) passed away in Randolph on February 21,2017. She was born is West Chester, PA ...
Read more

School Consolidation: Let’s Talk

August 17, 2017

Consolidation of schools has become a major talking point in New Jersey. Several leaders and researchers have weighed in on the pros and cons. The topic is one which should be explored in our district, but it is not a one-size fits all solution to fixing the cost of living problem here in New Jersey, nor would it necessarily save many residents money in any immediate sense.

Consolidation ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_03c461f1b345e05db30b_states_17

Sat, August 19, 9:00 AM

Mohawk Avenue School, Sparta

Sparta High School Robotics CAR WASH

Giving Back

Sat, August 19, 4:00 PM

Harmony Hill United Methodist Church, Stillwater

Harmony Hill United Methodist Church Annual ...

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_540681cabe83f4d78b38_august2017_movie_night

Sat, August 19, 6:30 PM

Dykstra Park , Sparta

Free Family Movie Night - Finding Dory

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, August 25, 12:00 PM

Newton Medical Center, Romano Conference and Education Center, Room 100, Newton

Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Newton Support Group

Education Health & Wellness

Fri, August 25, 12:00 PM

Newton Medical Center, Romano Conference and Education Center, Room 100, Newton

Alzheimer’s New Jersey’s Newton Support Group

Health & Wellness

Newton Police: Wantage Man Arrested on Drug and Theft Charges

August 14, 2017

NEWTON, NJ- A Wantage man is facing charges after breaking into a Newton home and attempting to rob the residents.  On Wednesday, around 6:30 p.m. Newton police officers were called to 271 Spring street on the report of a man in a vacant apartment, according to police.

When they arrived, they found the Shayne Divito on the street. Divito matched the description given to police.  The ...

New Providence 11U Gold Wins NPGL Title

August 17, 2017

The undefeated New Providence 11U Gold team completed a perfect season by defeating the also previously undefeated Elmora Troopers 4 - 3 in the finals of the 2017 NPGL baseball season. The Pioneers knew coming into the game, they had to play the perfect game, and they did just that. 

After a top of the first run by Elmora, the Pioneers struck back with 4 runs in the bottom of the ...

Report Shows Homeowner Net Worth Still Greater Than Renter Net Worth

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

The latest survey data, covering 2014-2016 will be released later this year. In the ...

Women Are Drinking More Than Ever

The rate of alcohol use among adults in the U.S. increased from 65% in 2001-2002 to 73% in 2012-2013, according to survey results of nearly 80,000 people conducted by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association – Psychiatry.  Along with the overall increase in drinking, the rate of high ...

Military Family Night Out Pool Party

August 18, 2017

Veterans and active service members, bring your families and join us for a FREE night of swimming, food, and prizes at The Newton Pool, Newton, NJ on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 from 5:00pm-7:00pm.  You will also learn more about the Military Family Night Out program offered by the Center for Prevention and Counseling, as well as meet the program facilitators.  Military Family Night ...