‘Rush-free time with Santa’: New Christmas event in Butler County

A Butler County holiday tradition — the Niederman Christmas Walk — is on hold this year, but a new event is planned in its place on the Liberty Twp. farm.

The Journal-News reported earlier this week that The Niederman Christmas Walk, which Bob and Janet Niederman started on the Niederman Family Farm in 2001, will not open this year “due to family health issues,” according to the family.

The Christmas Walk took “weeks of labor” to organize each year via family members and volunteers, according to Bethann Niederman, Bob and Janet’s daughter-in-law.

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But that’s not to say the Lesourdsville-West Chester Road property won’t be offering the public anything holiday related. A new event, Merry Christmas Market, is set to make its debut next month.

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Billed as “the perfect opportunity to get some shopping done and see Santa at the same time,” the event will be carried out by the Niederman family’s two most recent generations, said Niederman, who will operate the event with her daughter, Elizabeth.

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“She wanted to have a way to have some of that Christmas memory fun with children by having an event where we have Santa come,” Niederman said.

Scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 8 and 1 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9, the market will offer products such as jams, jellies, salsa, Niederman Family Farm sweatshirts/mugs, gift baskets, soup mixes and more. It also will be roasting nuts and offering a hot chocolate bar, a bonfire, kettle corn and fresh doughnuts for purchase.

“We have (a lot of these) things leftover from the corn maze, let’s have an event,” Niederman told the Journal-News. “We’re so excited to do something. We’re just trying something a little bit different this year that will be one weekend and we can decide how the interest is if we make it a two-weekend event next year.”

There is no charge to visit the Merry Christmas Market or to sit at the bonfire.

During the afternoon, Santa will be visiting, and the farm will be selling tickets to meet with him. Ticket cost has yet be determined, but will be “reasonably priced” and also include a craft and cookie decorating, Niederman said.

“What we’re trying to do is create a less stressful, rush-free time with Santa,” Niederman said. “It would be a timed ticket where maybe 10 kids at a time would come in for story time with Santa. Our hope is that parents will enjoy the market while they’re here and then the children will have time with Santa.”

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