Bethesda News

A Tremendous Christmas at Italian Lake Returns to Harrisburg, Benefits Bethesda Mission

RELEASE DATE: 11-8-2018


CONTACT:  Katie Andreano, Manager of Communications   

717-257-4442, Ext.  228 | 973-865-1742 (Cell)




HARRISBURG, PA –  Bethesda Mission invites and welcomes the greater Harrisburg community to a festival celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season. The second annual event, A Tremendous Christmas at Italian Lake, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 and Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Italian Lake at 3rd and Division Streets in Harrisburg. All proceeds benefit Bethesda Mission with the goal of helping the nonprofit meet the needs of the homeless population in Harrisburg.

The second year of this festival has grown to feature a 45-foot Christmas tree and tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Santa’s Grotto and pictures, horse-drawn carriage rides, an ice skating rink, local choirs, a petting zoo, hot food vendors, and a holiday market featuring local artisans.

“We are really excited for this year’s event,” said Cindy Mallow, Bethesda Mission’s director of development. “It expresses everything that Bethesda truly stands for:  family, relationships, bringing our community together, and of course, celebrating and sharing the true meaning of Christmas. What a better time and place to both give hope to those who need our help while enjoying the beautiful holiday together.”

A Tremendous Christmas at Italian Lake was first inspired by historical photos of the community celebrating holidays at Italian Lake. Organizers hope to bring the spirit of the season to life again in both the nostalgia and true meaning of Christmas.

“This event has struck a nostalgic nerve of a bygone era when Italian Lake was a beautiful gathering place in the outskirts of the ‘Burg’s’ city life,” said Scott Dunwoody, Bethesda Mission’s executive director. “What an opportunity for renewal of this still beautiful environment, creating new wonderful memories for the entire community to enjoy.”

The unique, family-friendly event was made possible through generous gifts from sponsors including: title sponsor, Tremendous Leadership; Good’s Tree and Lawn Care; Mrs. Gloria B. Jones; Wendell Hoover of Iron Valley Real Estate; Pine Creek Structures; Elizabeth Piscioneri of Century 21 Real Estate; and Fulton Bank.

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Bethesda Mission has been meeting the needs of hurting and homeless people in Harrisburg, PA for over 103 years. Providing shelter and recovery counseling for an average of 110 men and 25 women in two facilities, as well as after-school and summer programs for local children and teens, the Mission served nearly 130,000 meals and assisted over 5,000 separate individuals just last year! View more of our recent statistics here.



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