Are you hoping to taste real German food here in the US and lose yourself in the depths of German tradition? This December, make time to visit Mifflinburg and take part in the annual Mifflinburg Christkindl Market. This event honors the beloved Christmas market custom that has been a fixture in the community for almost 32 years, as well as German ancestry. The two and a half block marketplace is organized by a coalition of different organizations, temples, locals, and schools. Spend three days strolling down Market Street in Mifflinburg, where a charming assortment of handcrafted goods and classic Christmas fare are on display from spectacular outdoor huts.
This time, the 34th annual Mifflinburg Christkindl Market is happening from December 14-16, 2023. Get ready for a fun time filled with food, music, wine, and lots and lots of gifts!
History and theme of Mifflinburg Christkindl Market
The first Mifflinburg Christkindl Market began in 1989 by Rudi Skucek, a Native Austrian. The market is known for celebrating German heritage and is the oldest outdoor Christmas market in the States. The festival has been inspired by the 700-year-old tradition of Christ Child Market, which is celebrated in Austria and Germany.
Several schools, churches, and organisations come together to help prepare the festival in Mifflinburg. It started off with 20 vendors and has now reached 100 vendors, keeping Rudi Skucek’s legacy going. The festival has now become a part of the town’s history and is an annual pilgrimage of several visitors.
The theme of Mifflinburg Christkindl Market is unique each year. This year, the festival will feature a culturally significant icon or a story from the Village of Seiffen, Germany. Located in the region called Ore Mountain area, Seiffen is a small town of about 2100 people. The people there specialise in crafting Christmas figurines and toys such as nutcrackers, smoking men, pyramids, and candle arches.
Mifflinburg Christkindl Market price and timings
Mifflinburg Christkindl Market Timing is Thursday 4:30 pm – 9 pm, Friday 10 pm – 9 pm, and Saturday 10 – 8 pm. When it comes to Mifflinburg Christkindl Market Price, there is no admission fee for the festival, it is free of cost, however, donations are always welcomed. Also, there are no pets allowed in the market, except for service animals.
Highlights of Mifflinburg Christkindl Market
You will get to explore more than 100 stalls set up by an assortment of vendors, along with entertainment for children and adults with stage shows, carriage rides, a 12-foot roving nutcracker, Gingerbread Creations Hut, parades, Gingerbread Peek-A-Boo House, children’s lantern parade, and Doll House, and more. From traditional German food to American favourites, foodies are definitely going to love this festival! Let’s explore the highlights of this festival a little more!
There are several outdoor and indoor performances at the market to keep the visitors entertained. From indoor choral concerts to instrumental performances on piano, brass, and solo vocalists, guests have a chance to warm up and groove to the music. Small ensemble concerts, band performances, international dancers, and more activities are happening on the outdoor stage.
Indulge in fantastic food and treats:
Any market is incomplete without traditional food. Mifflinburg Christkindl Market offers a variety of cuisines and treats for all visitors to indulge in. The smell of each food item, from cookies to roasted nuts to strudel, hangs so heavy in the cold winter air that you can almost taste it. You will find stalls selling gluhwein, bratwurst, and much more.
Aromtic and warming Gluhwein:
What would a German market be without its special mulled hot spiced wine, Gluhwein? This aromatic and warming wine has been a holiday special delight for many years. This wine is a German Christmas essential and is available in bottles for visitors to enjoy at home. You can purchase it at the festival along with a Christkindl mug.
Buy your loved ones unique gifts like candle arches, Christmas pyramids, nutcrackers, and other items at the market.
Prune Men collection:
Prune Men or Zwetschgenmännle is a well-loved figure made of prune, which has been a treasured item at Christmas markets all over the world. Visitors get to watch local artists and designers create these figurines at the festival.
The tradition of cancellation stamps:
It was in 1695 that the tradition of mailing your loved ones Christmas cards and postal stamps began. At the festival, you will get to deposit your mail traditional style, where it will be hand-canceled by the Miffinburg Post Office with Christkindl cancellation images. This old tradition adds a special meaning to the market.
Children get to visit the Elf School, the gingerbread house, and the Peek-A-Boo doll house at the Kinder World. Mifflinburg Christkindl Market is famous for its ability to keep children entertained with its exciting entertaining shows.
Experience the lantern parade:
In the memory of martyrdom of Roman-soldier-turned monk, Saint Martin, second-grade students in Miffinburg sing ‘Laterne’ in German while they parade through the market on Friday night every year. It’s a nostalgic and heart-warming site for many visitors.
Craft and food vendors:
There are about 100 vendors who participate in this yearly festival. You will get to witness several craft vendors such as Aucker’s Apiary, Brenda’s Crafts, Helpless Moon Fused Glass, Peachy’s Woodworks, and more. For food vendors, there are Betty’s Acres, Christkindl Pub, Mifflinburg Hose Company, and much more. Visitors are definitely in for a treat that this festival!
How to get to the market?
Visitors can enter the market through 4 entrances: 4th & Market St, 6th & Market St, 5th & Green St, and 5th & Chestnut St. There are shuttle services, and standby buses for handicaps available for the visitors to get to the festival’s location. The parking spaces near the venue are scarce, so it is advised that you take shuttle services to the location.
If you are traveling from Harrisburg, the festival is a short one-drive from the area. To avoid the worst of the crowd, visit the festival during the day on Friday and make sure to stay after dark to experience the magical vibe of the market.
You are in for an amazing time if you are a resident or planning to visit Pennsylvania this holiday season as the most awaited event of the year is just around the corner! Mifflinburg Christkindl Market is coming back this December with many exciting surprises for you! Your holidays are definitely going to be grand! For more information, visit Hermagic.