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Annual Pa. Dutch Festival Opens at Reading Terminal Market

(An Amish girl makes waffle cones for the Pennsylvania Dutch Festival at the Reading Terminal Market.  Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

(An Amish girl makes waffle cones for the Pennsylvania Dutch Festival at the Reading Terminal Market. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Hadas Kuznits Hadas Kuznits
Hadas Kuznits has been as a news writer/reporter for KYW Newsradio...
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By Hadas Kuznits

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Amish merchants and their wares are being celebrated for several days at a festival in center city Philadelphia.

The 24th annual Pennsylvania Dutch Festival is underway at the Reading Terminal Market, through Saturday.

“It’s a celebration of the food and crafts of the Pennsylvania Dutch,” says Sarah Levitsky (below right), marketing and events manager at the Reading Terminal Market.  “We have a variety of different foods, and we also have a variety of crafts, quilts, woodworking.”

Pennsylvania Dutch merchant Alvin Beiler (below left), who is Mennonite and not prohibited by his religion from driving a motor vehicle, says the Amish merchants hail fron Lancaster County, Pa.

(Alvin Beiler and Sarah Levitsky.  Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

(Alvin Beiler and Sarah Levitsky. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)

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“We drive in five days a week,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “It’s about 55 miles.  They (Amish merchants prohibited from using motor vehicles) can hire vans to bring them down — it would be too far to bring their horse and buggy into the city.”

And if you come to the festival on Saturday, you can meet the merchants’ farm animals when the festival moves outdoors.

“They pull a wagon and give buggy rides around the market,”  Beiler says, “and we have little ponies that we give little rides with.  We have trains in the back.  That’s free, that’s for the kids.”