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Harmony holiday market brings winter festivities

Renee Ruggiero, lead dancer with the Alpen Schuhplattler traditional German dance troupe, plays the bells at the Harmony German Christmas Market. Julia Maruca / Butler Eagle 11/12/22

HARMONY -- Singing, dancing, clapping, stomping, laughter, and holiday cheer weren’t hard to come by on Saturday at the many tents and booths of the Harmony WeihnachtsMarkt.

The annual German Christmas Market event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. It brings thousands of visitors into the town of Harmony from across the region to enjoy food, drink, German cultural activities, music, craft vendors, and a celebratory small-town atmosphere.

“It looks like a good crowd out there, and the weather hasn’t kept them away,” said Rodney Gasch, president of Historic Harmony Inc, adding that the cold made the event a little more festive. “You want people to get in the holiday spirit, and they get kind of excited about it. It’s hard to feel like you should do Christmas shopping when it’s 70 degrees.”

Gwen Lutz, vice president of Historic Harmony Inc., said the event brings together between 3,500 and 5,000 people each year depending on the weather.

“We get a mix—we get locals, and we get people from out around,” Lutz said. “There are times when we have gotten people from Ohio and New York, because they like to go to the Christmas markets.”

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Rodney Gasch, president of Historic Harmony, pours mulled wine at the Harmony German Christmas Market. Julia Maruca / Butler Eagle 11/12/22

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