Photo by Ted Colegrove
Calling all crafters! From handmade jewelry and soap to specialty foods, leather and fine art, Martin Guitar Handwerkplatz at Musikfest and Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem are havens of handcrafted goods. As ArtsQuest’s two largest festivals return in 2018, the nonprofit is seeking handmade works from the nation’s finest artisans. Artisans interested in applying should do so by April 20 at www.musikfest.org/applications and www.christmascity.org/christkindlmarkt; the fee to apply is $20 per festival.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary Aug. 3-12, Musikfest, the nation’s largest free music festival, presents 10 days of great music, food and entertainment with more than 500 performances on 16 stages. Among the festival’s 18 venues throughout the city is Martin Guitar Handwerkplatz, located in Historic Bethlehem’s 18th Century Industrial Quarter.
Handwerkplatz is a unique, outdoor site dedicated to visual arts and fine crafts and features handmade items like recycled metal art, guitar string jewelry, gourmet food products, dog treats, vintage photography, soy candles and more. The venue, home to more than 40 artisans, also includes live glassblowing demos by ArtsQuest Glass Studio artists as well as an array of food and beverages. Musikfest annually draws up to a million people or more, and last year the festival set a new attendance record of 1.2 million.
Drawing a record 90,000 people in 2017, Christkindlmarkt is a one-of-a-kind family event that brings the spirit of Bethlehem alive with the season. The event has been recognized twice as one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure, as well as one of the top holiday markets in the world by Forbes, Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today Travel.
Showcasing more than 160 artisans from more than 20 states during its six-weekend run, Christkindlmarkt also features photos with St. Nicholas, glassblowing demonstrations, live holiday music and authentic German favorites like wursts, strudel and lebkuchen. Dates for Christkindlmarkt 2018 are Nov. 16-18 and 23-25; Nov. 29-Dec. 2; and Dec. 6-9, 13-16 and 20-23.