The Harmony Silvester Celebration is a family-focused event in Historic Harmony that honors its German heritage by celebrating Silvester (New Year’s Eve) on German time 6:00 PM (midnight in Germany). The day's events start at 3:00 PM with a Christmas & wreath throwing contest, Gluhwein (German hot mulled wine), outdoor food vendors, music, shopping and other festivities. A 5K race starts at 3:30 PM, followed by a 1 Mile Fun Run at 4:15. We will count down to a ball-drop in German at 6:00 PM followed by fireworks and singing of Auld Lang Syne.
HARMONY’S SILVESTER WELCOMES NEW YEAR AT 6 P.M., (THAT’S MIDNIGHT IN GERMANY)
HARMONY, Pa. – Harmony Borough and the Harmony Museum are gearing up for the annual Silvester Celebration that rings in the new year on German time. That means a lighted ball drop, fireworks, and the outpouring of “Happy New Year” happens Friday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. in Harmony, (midnight in Germany). Silvester attracts thousands of people to Harmony’s National Historical Landmark each year to get a six-hour jump on New Year’s celebrations. The festivities start in the afternoon with foot races and family fun. There are year-end specials and treats at various Harmony merchants. Music and face painting at the Bottlebrush Gallery. Christmas tree tossing contest for adults and older youths, as well as Christmas wreath tossing contest for children under 10, beginning at 3 p.m. in the Harmony Museum driveway.
For runners wanting one more race in 2022, there’s the Silvester 5K at 3:30 and a 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk at 4:15. Preregister for racers online at https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/Harmony/HarmonySilvester5K, or on race day at the Grace Church gymnasium, Main St. in Harmony, between 2 and 3:15 p.m. Volunteer firefighters from the Harmony Fire District 22 will be serving food and beverages. And the Harmony Museum will offer a traditional pork and sauerkraut dinner as a carryout or a sit-down meal. Reservations are required, see HarmonyMuseum.org. The Museum will also serve Gluhwein, the traditional hot mulled cider, in souvenir mugs starting at 3 p.m. Free parking is available in commercial and public lots around the town. Germans call New Year’s Eve Silvester after the ancient feast day that commemorated the 4th century Pope Sylvester I, who died on the last day of 335.
Harmony’s recorded history began in 1753 when a 21-year-old George Washington visited an Indian village located here. Washington’s 1753 travels through western Pennsylvania found French troops on land claimed by England, leading to the French and Indian War. Harmony as we know it today was founded in 1804 by Lutheran Separatists from southwestern Germany. The Harmony Society became one of 19th century America’s most successful communal groups. They became successful in various businesses, especially in production of woolens and linens. When the Harmonists relocated to Indiana Territory around 1814, resettlement was led by Mennonites from eastern Pennsylvania. Their Mennonite Meetinghouse, the first west of the Allegheny Mountains, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Harmony Society returned to Pa. in 1824 to establish their final home, Economy, (now Ambridge, Pa.) 22 miles southwest of Harmony. The society was dissolved in 1905, about the same time Harmony’s Mennonite congregation was fading away.
The nine-site Harmony Museum presents the community’s extraordinary history with guided tours of three buildings 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations recommended. Harmony is at I-79 exits 87-88, about 10 miles north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and 30 miles south of I-80.