Holiday arts and crafts fill Manheim

By on December 20, 2017


Glassblower Jeremy Friedly creates a trophy. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

Manheim’s holiday season kicked off earlier this month with Christmas in Manheim, a weekend filled with family-friendly activities that included the Christmas tree lighting. Festivities continued for a second weekend beginning Dec. 8 with the Manheim Historical Society’s annual Christmas Folk Art Show, and Lancaster Liederkranz’s Christkindlmarkt. Both events offered free admission

Held in the festively decorated Manheim railroad station, the Christmas Folk Art Show featured 12 area artisans and their wares. The variety of hand-crafted items included pen and ink drawings, hand woven textiles and felted hats, tin items, button jewelry, painted furniture, paper cuttings, redware, ceramic pottery, wild fowl carvings, and wood carvings.

“This is a great small space. We have some unique, hand-crafted items,” said organizer Doug Shaw.

The show was held Friday and Saturday. The doors opened at 3 p.m. Friday, and the Penryn woodcarver said people started lining up outside at 1 p.m. The show draws a large crowd, and not just from the region; the first people through the door were from Wisconsin.

Artisans Sally (left) and Bob Hughes at the Christmas Folk Art Show.

Madeline Erickson’s German stars and feather trees drew lots of interest. This was her second year as part of the show. She’s been making German stars for about 15 years. She said the traditional German folk art has been around since the 1840s. This year, she repurposed National Geographic maps and holiday wrapping paper to create some of the stars. The paper creations are sealed with paraffin wax to give them a bit of shine.

As for the feather trees, she said they were popular in Germany in the 1870s and 1880s.

“They were a response to the deforestation from harvesting Christmas trees,” she explained.

While it was Erickson’s second year at the Folk Art Show, it was the first year for artists Sally and Bob Hughes. The couple’s stand featured tinsel trees crafted by Sally with ceramic pots crafted by Bob, as well as some of his other ceramic items.

Sally Hughes said she first made tinsel trees last year for family members.

“They liked them, so I decided to make more. I like sparkly things; and making them is a great project to do as I watch TV,” she said.

Stiegel Glassworks’ studio, located at the railroad station campus, was open. Visitors could purchase hand-blown glass items and watch the glass blowers at work.

The Christmas Folk Art Show is a long-established Manheim tradition.

A view of the outdoor food area near the pavilion at the Lancaster Liederkranz’s Christkindlmarkt.


In contrast, this was the second year for the Lancaster Liederkranz’s Christkindlmarkt. Like many other events hosted by the Liederkranz, this one is rooted in German tradition. In a tradition that dates to the 1500s, small- to medium-sized German towns hold Christkindlmarkts outdoors in the town square during the four weeks of Advent.

Over 30 vendors were in the outdoor pavilion, and a tent erected to its side. (The tent was new this year, as was another small tent near the food and beverage area that contained some seating.) Guests not only could purchase interesting gift items including handcrafted soaps, dog treats, jewelry, ornaments, hand painted glassware, Moravian stars, baked goods, and packaged German delicacies, but they also had an opportunity to view performances from Christmas carolers and the club’s dancers and singers. German food and beverages were also featured.

Mia (left) and Kylie Corradino create pinecone ornaments during the Lancaster Liederkranz’s Christkindlmarkt. The ornaments provide food for birds and animals when hung on trees outdoors.

There was an opportunity for visits with Santa. Children were also invited to the Ratskeller, or basement, of the clubhouse, for face painting and crafts, including creating ornaments for the Liederkranz tree. Filled with natural ornaments to provide food for birds and other animals, the tree was lit as part of the concluding Christkindlmarkt activities.

Judging from the packed parking lot and number of people seen carrying packages, as well as the number of people in both the pavilion and clubhouse, the event was a success.

Elise Bullington, Christkindlmarkt chair, said 2,500 people attended the event.

One of the Christkindlmarkt vendors sold Moravian stars.

“We’re ecstatic with that response. A number of people told us they’ll make coming to the event a family tradition,” she said, “The snow made for a beautiful backdrop, but it also meant that we couldn’t use some of the parking areas we usually use for our fests.”

The Christkindlmarkt had the same number of vendors as last year. However she said some were shifted to an added tent space to allow more space people potential customers to view vendor items.

“Part of the feedback we received about last year’s event, which was our first one, was that the vendors were too close together; people couldn’t really see what they had to offer,” Bullington said. “We listened, and there was a much better flow this year.”

She added that the event will be held next year, on the second Sunday in December.

Members of the Lancaster Liederkranz Alpenrose Schuhplattlers performed during the Christkindlmarkt. These dancers wear costumes that have their roots in Wiesbaden, Germany.

On the third week of Christmas, Manheim gave to me…a Makers Market

The third weekend of holiday activities in Manheim featured a Christmas Makers Market at Supply, 280 S. Oak St. The two-day event was co-hosted by Supply, Creatively Lancaster, and walk in love.

It kicked off Friday evening only a few hours after the conclusion of a snowstorm. The fresh coat of snow provided a holiday feel as did the holiday music inside Supply, an events venue and co-working location.

“We’ve seen a steady stream of people through to doors, even with the weather on Friday,” said Creatively Lancaster co-founder Stephanie Sleetman Saturday morning.

Willa Beidler spins wool into yarn at the Rivendell Farm stand at the Christmas Makers Market at Supply.

The event featured 75 vendors spread out in the main room, large and medium conference rooms, and photo studio, as well as a pop-up shop at walk in love’s warehouse, located in the building. Sleetman, who partners with Christine Miller in Creatively Lancaster, said the vendors each offered unique, hand-crafted items perfect for gift-giving.

Guests also had an opportunity to find out about their craft directly from the makers. The wide variety of items included sea glass and other handcrafted jewelry, handmade soaps, handmade candles, holiday greens and wreaths, baked goods, felted items, and macramé items.

Emma Browning offered string art. She said she got the idea to create string art items from a high school art class.

“It’s fun to do,” she said. “It’s seen a resurgence in popularity the last couple of years.”

Emma Browning displays some of the string art she crafted.

At the Rivendell Farm area just inside the door, wool and felted pieces were available. Many of the items were crafted using wool from the farm’s herd of 27 Leicester Longwool sheep. According to information from the Leicester Longwool Sheep Breeders Association, this breed, which was nearly extinct in North America, is experiencing a revival due to its lustrous fleece, which is prized by handspinners and crafters for its curl, soft handle, and lustrous beauty.

Another unique item, and perhaps totally unexpected, was hand-sewn creations offered by Vagabond Bowties. Duke Adams explained that the reversible bowties, which are not the traditional black, white, or red bowties, are made with repurposed materials. They were artfully displayed in small vintage suitcases.

“These are really fun bowties,” he said. “When you see someone in a bowtie, you can’t help but smile.”

Vagabond Bowties’ co-founder Duke Adams showcases artful bowties made of recycled cloth items.

Many of the Makers Market guests got into the spirit of the season with fun holiday-themed apparel and accessories. Some sported festive Santa-type hats, while others wore holiday sweaters, or even jingle-bell bracelets. ‘Tis the season!

Supply periodically hosts other community events. For more information, visit Supply’s website,

T.J. Mousetis and his wife, Brooke, not only are two of the partners in Supply, but they also founded walk in love. The company, which is headquartered at Supply, makes T-shirts with Christian and inspirational messages and sells them via its website and special studio events such as the Makers Market.

Creatively Lancaster provides a venue for creative collaboration and organizes makers markets to connect artisans and crafters with customers. For additional information and a slate of upcoming makers markets, visit

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at

Makers Market crowd photographed by staff writer Dick Wanner, who, incidentally, bought two bowties.

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