Wet weather no match for Lemont Christmas Market

The rain didn’t put a damper on the annual Lemont Christmas Market Friday night.

In fact, veteran vendors of the event said the foot traffic was heavy despite the wet and chilly weather.

“It usually gets a lot of people here normally and we’re still seeing a healthy crowd today,” said Sean Bodley, a Lemont-based artist.

Bodley, originally from Wisconsin, moved to the Centre Region a couple years ago, where he opened a home-based business called Mount Nittany Studios.

He specializes in plein air painting of natural landscapes, but carries a notebook at all times to do other imaginative drawings.

The Christmas Market, otherwise known as Weihnachtsmarkt in German, featured 19 Centre County-based vendors showcasing its work.

Lemont Village Association Chairwoman Sue Smith said since the event started five years ago, having a German twist on the event was always the market’s theme.

She said the event was inspired by her son-in-law, who is originally from Berlin.

The market featured crafts, jewelry, clothing, books, wreaths, arts and crafts, traditional German food, children’s activities and Christmas carolers, and it will continue Saturday.

All proceeds will go toward the restoration and maintenance of the historic grain elevator and coal shed. Smith said about $1,000 should be raised during the weekend event.

At the other end of the Granary was Monica Ochs, of MoniLeesA, who was selling cards, Christmas ornaments and other holiday trinkets.

Ochs, a social worker by day, said she got into the craft hobby about five years ago as a way to keep herself busy, but to also relieve stress of everyday life.

“I always enjoyed the arts and being creative,” Ochs, of Bellefonte, said. “It’s kind of like a mental health break from everything else.”

Ochs creates her own handmade ornaments and cards that she puts a personal touch on.

“I think the whole personalization of it make it special for someone who wants to buy it,” she said.

For patron Marshal Gens and his wife, Jennifer, that’s exactly why they attend holiday markets like the one in Lemont.

“You get to see a lot of local stuff,” Gens said. “A lot of the time you go to these markets to buy gifts for the family for Christmas and see an old friend’s name on a knickknack you get, so it makes it nice to also support things that are made in our backyard.”