CUMBERLAND — It was a Christmas miracle in Cumberland on Saturday as Santa and the Grinch set aside their differences and lit the tree together at the town’s annual winter festival.

The Cumberland Weihnachtsmarkt — which translates to “winter market” — drew an estimated 2,000 guests on Dec. 2 when the town celebrated its German heritage with a traditional Christmas festival.

The event took place from noon to 7 p.m., shutting down U.S. 40 for one block from Muessing Street to Starter Street.

Guggman Haus Brewing Co. and the German American Klub were among the German-themed vendors, along with more American-style vendors selling everything from crafts to candied nuts.

Guests also enjoyed free horse-drawn carriage rides.

The festival featured a variety of food, children’s activities and live entertainment, including spirited performances by Ft. Wayne Tänzer, a German dancing troupe.

Lipps said the highlight of the night was when Santa intervened as the Grinch was about to get hauled away by the Cumberland police, choosing to pardon the Grinch instead and have him help in lighting up the community Christmas tree.

The tree lighting was synchronized with lighting up the holiday decor in the downtown streetscapes, followed by a fireworks display.

“We felt like this was our best year yet,” Lipps said of this year’s winter market.

Eric and Megan Anderson brought their sons Parker, 3, and Logan, 1, to visit with Santa and peruse the booths. The boys enjoyed a snack while their parents took in a performance by the German dancers, who wowed the crowds with their traditional dances and costumes.

Megan, whose grandfather’s grandparents immigrated from Germany, said it was a fun way to celebrate her heritage while enjoying some holiday festivities with her family.

She and her husband have enjoyed watching the sense of community grow since they moved to Cumberland three years ago.

“It’s great to see the community coming alive in recent years with family-friendly events,” she said. “When we moved here there was talk of a busier downtown someday, and it’s great to see that happening now. You can see there’s a lot of heartfelt effort.”

Reid and Jordan Roudebush drove from their home in Noblesville to check out Saturday’s winter market with their daughter Madeline, 5, and son Gavin, 18 months.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Jordan, as her son checked out the horses pulling a carriage nearby.

One of the biggest hits of the festival was Santa’s house — a quaint yellow 19th century home on Main Street which was festively adorned for the holidays. A kids area offering facepainting and balloon sculptures was also a big draw.

“We had nothing but positive comments,” said Lipps, who said town officials are considering making the event even bigger next year.