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October 19, 2023
Get In The Holiday Spirit In Schuylkill County
Regina Gargano

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Beloved Holiday Traditions Return this November and December

The holiday season beckons just ahead. I can see it glistening faintly on the horizon and I immediately feel anxious. Already? I make a mental note to pull out my calendar and get thoroughly acquainted with it this weekend. Time has a way of sneaking up on me. And although I have no control over time, I do have the ability to pencil in some of my holiday faves, ensuring that I take those moments to enjoy the best of the season in our little corner of Northeastern PA.


Kris Kringle and carolers make a stop at the tree farm.

My hands-down favorite is An Explore Schuylkill Holiday at Pioneer Evergreen Farms in Orwigsburg. It will be held on Saturday, November 25 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. I’m biased, I know. You’ll have to forgive me. But we just love putting this together each year. Set in the picturesque fields of an evergreen tree farm, guests can visit with Santa Claus and his reindeer. Stroll the fields. Or take a horse and carriage ride!

The dynamic donkey duo of Dominic and Matilda will be with us again as well as a bevy of carolers from the Schuylkill Chorale Society and The M&J Brass Trio. Children can get their faces painted in festive wintery designs. Enjoy a free hot cocoa and cookie and visit with the animals. Tell Santa their secret wishes. And join their family and friends in making free s’mores over several cozy fire pits. King Cole Winery will be on hand for making merry too!

This is an outdoor event that combines local talent and holiday traditions for all ages to enjoy in a charming evergreen setting. It is non-ticketed, free, and open to the public. We have a Toys-for-Tots drop-off barrel for the day. We hope you will consider a donation for those in our community in need.  Please dress accordingly for this outdoor event.


Kick off the season with wine and twinkling lights.

The holiday season is also a wonderful time of year to spend some time on the Explore Schuylkill Craft Beverage Trail app. Loaded with handcrafted wines, beers, ciders, and spirits, our trail is full of local seasonal flavors that put you in the holiday spirit!

One particularly festive stop on our trail is the Annual Lighting of the Vineyard at Benigna’s Creek Vineyard and Winery November 24-25 in Klingerstown. Instead of the hustle and bustle and traffic and long lines that we all experience this time of year, treat yourself to a magical evening in the countryside. The event is set amidst the rolling mountains where 2.5 acres of vineyards are adorned with holiday lights dancing to Christmas carols floating in the air.

Live nativity animals, tractor rides though the vineyard, cozy fires, homemade food, and cookies and cocoa complete this blissful scene. The wine is excellent my friends. Their Hessian Red and Traminette will quickly become favorites that you’ll want to share with family and friends.

Make sure you dress accordingly as this is an outdoor evening event and is held rain, snow, or shine.


Celebrate with a traditional German market.

Another favorite of mine is a Christkindlmarkdt. I love them! We have several good ones in Pennsylvania including Bethlehem, Mifflinburg, Harmony and my hometown of Pottsville.

Schuylkill County Council for Arts’ Christkindlmarkt in the historic Yuengling Mansion on December 2 – 3 provides a setting like no other. While smaller in scale to our neighbors, Schuylkill County Council for the Arts’ Christkindlmarkdt makes up for size with its incredible setting.

Located at 1440 Mahantongo St. amongst turn-of-the-century genteel residences in this tree lined historic neighborhood, the Frank D. Yuengling Home, constructed in 1913, is a fine example of early twentieth century Tudor-Jacobethan Revival architecture that possesses a sense of grandeur that continues through the present time.

Superbly prepared for the season, the home, its carriage house, garden, and grounds welcome guests with open arms. With lavishly decked halls trimmed in fine decorations, holiday music, and live performances, the mansion becomes the perfect backdrop for a traditional German Christkindlmarkt. It’s chock full of talented artisan vendors selling gorgeous handmade wares of every type.

Admission is free. Hours are Saturday, December 2 from 12 – 6 p.m. and Sunday, December 3 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.