Since 1914, Bethesda Mission has been a missionary arm of the local church, reaching out to men, women, and children of all races, nationalities, and creeds, providing the poor and homeless with shelter, food, clothing, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, and discipling them in the Christian life.


A new addition this year, we are pleased to be able to offer ice skating as an activity. Get into the Christmas spirit by gliding around a rink with Italian Lake park as a scenic backdrop.

  • Tickets are $5 each and may be purchased only at the ticket booth next to the lake.
  • Skate rental is included in the ticket price (please use the skates provided).
  • The ice is synthetic and on a grassy area beside the lake (no, we are not freezing over Italian Lake).
  • Your skate time will be written on your ticket at time of purchase. Please arrive at the rink 10 minutes beforehand to make sure you have enough time to get your skates on!
  • Each skater will have 30 minutes on the ice.
  • Parents will be permitted to accompany young children free of charge if necessary, but will need a ticket to make sure we don’t reach max capacity on the rink.







Picture a blue-green Fraser fir rising up above Italian Lake and twinkling lights reflecting in the water. Bringing the light of the holiday season to life, the Christmas Tree at Tremendous Christmas at Italian Lake is a sight to be seen.

Join us for the tree lighting ceremony Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 5:00 PM



Bring your whole family to see Santa. For a donation to Bethesda Mission, your photo will be taken with Santa in the Christmas cabin. All children who have their photo taken will receive a gift from Santa.



Join us as local choirs and churches fill the air with the traditional sounds of Christmas.
Choir schedule below:

Saturday, December 8
Noon – Welcome & Children’s Book Reading by Tremendous Leadership
12:30 p.m. Chromatic Expansion (Millersville University Student Choir)
1:00 p.m. Rockville United Methodist Church
1:30 p.m. Zion Lutheran Church
2:00 p.m. Market Square Presbyterian Church
2:30 p.m. Paxton Ministries Handbell Choir
3:00 p.m. Trinity Presbyterian Church
3:30 p.m. Children’s Book Reading by Tremendous Leadership
4:30 p.m. Brookfield Bible Church

Sunday, December 9
Noon – Welcome
12:30 p.m. Chromatic Expansion (Millersville University Student Choir)
1:30 p.m. Children’s Book Reading by Tremendous Leadership
2:30 p.m. First Baptist Church of Steelton
3:00 p.m. Orthodox Christian Charities of Greater Harrisburg
3:30 p.m. Children’s Book Reading by Tremendous Leadership
4:00 p.m. Brookfield Bible Church



You’ll hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing, ring-ting tingle-ing, too. This activity was enjoyed by attendees of all ages last year. For a $5 donation per person to Bethesda Mission, take your family or holiday sweetheart on a carriage ride. 

Rides are available on Saturday from 12:30 – 4:30 and Sunday from 12:30 – 4:30. Tickets will be sold at the event on a first come, first served basis.



Vendor List:
Afrikan Girl Kuns
Bee For & After by Amanda
Brian R Mummau Carpentry
Carwood Essentials
Evanescent Inks
Kylie’s Canine Treats
My Re-Designed Ride
Paparazzi Jewelry
Plenty of Polish Pottery
Raine Pots
Royal Apache Artistry
Tremendous Leadership
Usborne Books & More
Wax Melts on the Loose

Food Trucks:
The Chicken Truck
Dough Heads Waffles
Mad Dash Grilled Cheese
Marsico’s Italian Food
Perk Up Truck
Poppa J’s Concessions
The Pretzel Spot
Sunshine Bakery
The Sweet Patch



Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg is organizing a collection drive for new hats, gloves, scarves, and socks benefiting Bethesda Mission. During the month leading up to Christmas at Italian Lake, you can drop donations in collection boxes at various locations around the city. A group of Santas on bicycles will deliver the donations to the lake at 4 pm on Saturday, December 8. It is sure to be a jolly sight!

Visit Recycle Bicycle’s Facebook Page for details about the Santa Ride.

Collection Locations:
Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District
Little Amps Strawberry Square and State Street
Fredricksen Library
The Underground Bike Shop
Pedal Pusher Bike Shop
Midtown Cinema



Special thanks to our Christmas Joy sponsors who make this event possible.