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Christmas Market at Ebenezer set Dec. 6
Salzburger Museum Gift Shop
This sign tops several shelves loaded with merchandise in the Georgia Salzburger Society Museum Gift Shop. All proceeds go to the Museum Operating Fund. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON — The Christmas Market at Ebenezer won’t be a place to find the latest technological gadget. Nearly every item there will be wrapped in centuries of history and tradition.

The Georgia Salzburger Society Museum, 2980 Ebenezer Road, Rincon, will host the event Dec. 6 from 2-5 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Museum Operating Fund. 

“We have a lot of the different research books for people to buy,” Salzburger descendant Erika Bragg said.  

The museum’s offerings also include the journals of Pastor Johann Martin Boltzius (1703-1765) of nearby Jerusalem Lutheran Church, toys, clothing, post cards, baked goods and more.

“The Salzburger (stuffed) animals are always so popular,” Bragg said. “We have a lot of cute gift items.”

The Christmas Market at Ebenezer will feature more than just shopping opportunities.

“We are going to have some educational things,” Bragg said. 

Beginning in 1734, about 300 Salzburgers, Protestants who were expelled from their native land (presently Austria), began arriving in Georgia in search of religious freedom. The Trustees of the Colony of Georgia extended them an invitation two years earlier. King George II of England, a German duke and Lutheran, sympathized with them.

The German-speaking Salzburgers were exiled because they refused to adhere to the religious beliefs of Count Leopold von Firmian, the Catholic archbishop and prince of Salzburg. Instead, they opted to follow the teachings of Martin Luther.

“We want to highlight our German ancestors here at Ebenezer and that is why, at 2:30 p.m., we are having the Christmas story read in German,” Bragg said. “It’s going to be a responsive reading with those in attendance reciting it back in English.”

At 3 p.m., the Elam Egypt Baptist Church Choir will sing Christmas hymns. Susan Hartzog,  Aileen Tuten and Robert Peavy will take sing Christmas hymns starting at 4 p.m.

“All of this is going to take place outside kind of centered around the statue of Pastor Boltzius,” Bragg said. “We are going to keep it historically accurate, educational and interesting. It will be outside for those concerned about getting around people because of COVID-19.”