Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Fa La La La Lake: Bethesda Mission’s Christmas at Italian Lake is back with holiday market, music, food

Italian Lake

It will soon be the most wonderful time of the year at Italian Lake in Harrisburg.

Bethesda Mission will hold its annual weekend-long Christmas celebration at the lake to raise money for its community programs.

“The best part of the event is just being able to see the community come together,” said Kristina Depew, events/volunteer coordinator for Bethesda. “It’s a lot of fun.”

The festival will kick off on Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and extend through Dec. 12, from 12 to 5 p.m.

Last year, the event was cancelled, and the tree lighting was moved to a virtual platform, due to the pandemic. However, this year, Bethesda is back in person, bringing all of the Christmas cheer.

Attendees can experience a tree lighting ceremony, take pictures with Santa, listen to musical performances, go for a horse-drawn “sleigh” ride and make Christmas crafts.

Shoppers can also peruse a holiday market for Christmas gifts from local, small business vendors. The following food trucks will also be on site:

  • The Perk Up Truck
  • 717 Tacos
  • Dough Head Waffles
  • Mad Dash Food Truck
  • Marsico’s Taste of Italy
  • Mel’s Rock N BBQ
  • The Lucky Penny Burger

Some events are ticketed, like the photos with Santa and sleigh rides. Tickets will be available for purchase at the event.

Proceeds from the festival will go towards Bethesda Mission’s recovery programs at its men’s and women’s shelters, as well as the community center for youth, Depew said.

“Without the community support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” she said. “This event is a big part of the funds we receive.”

At the Christmas celebration, community members can have fun, while supporting a good cause.

“I would encourage people to come out and feel that Christmas spirit again,” Depew said. “It’s a lot of fun, and it supports a fantastic mission that’s there for the community in so many ways.”

For more information about Christmas at Italian Lake, visit their website.

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