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Enjoy Pennsylvania Dutch Holiday Traditions at Christmas on the Farm

by Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Nov 28, 2023

Christmas on the Farm 2023 will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2. The event will feature Pennsylvania Dutch folklife demonstrations, live animals, kids activities, local folk artists, traditional music, and visits from the Belsnickel.

Experience the holiday cheer of regional folk culture at the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center’s annual Christmas on the Farm: a celebration of the holiday season and Pennsylvania German Christmas traditions. Located on the historic Sharadin Farmstead at 22 Luckenbill Road, Kutztown, Christmas on the Farm is a free, fun, and educational event for the whole family.

Harp music from Sarajane Williams of Planet Harp will grace the ears of visitors in the Sharadin farmhouse as they explore the folk art, silhouettes, and detailed miniature portraits by Ruth Williams in the farmhouse dining room.

In the Freyberger one-room schoolhouse, visitors will hear traditional music from Keith Brintzenhoff, Dave Kline, and Mike and Linda Hertzog, who will perform the annual Pennsylvania Dutch The New Year’s Wish. The Belsnickel, that grouchy holiday visitor among the Pennsylvania Dutch, will pay visits to the schoolhouse at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., so be sure to be on your best behavior.

Stunning displays of works created by the traditional craftspeople from the Reading-Berks Guild of Craftsmen, as well as other local artisans and demonstrators, will be showcasing their trades throughout the farm. Satisfy your sweet tooth or enjoy a savory treat from Mattie’s Strudel Haus before you enjoy hands-on experiences in the children’s craft tent or meet the fabulous potbellied pigs with Puddin Heartland.

Taste traditional foods with open-hearth cooking demonstrations in the farmhouse kitchen with Becky Manley. Terry Berger will also be baking Pennsylvania German sweets like Ox Tongue Cookies in the summer kitchen.

Don’t forget to visit our new headquarters at the DeLight E. Breidegam Building at 15155 Kutztown Road, Kutztown, to explore our new featured exhibition, “Der Alt Dengelschtock: Precision, Frugality, & Cooperation in Pennsylvania Dutch Agricultural Tradition,” which highlights the traditional haymaking and grain harvesting technology of the Pennsylvania Dutch through the folk culture of the old sharpening anvil and associated hand tools.

For more information, follow PGCHC on Facebook and Instagram or call 610-683-1589.

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