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Every year, for centuries, people in towns and villages across Germany have staged and enjoyed a wealth of festivities based around a Christmas market. These events were – and still are – packed with outdoor markets of cute wooden booths and stalls, full of traditional handmade Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, wooden figurines, delicious German foods to suit every taste, music and dancing.
In 1996, ever the groundbreakers, the City of Kitchener, led by Tony Bergmeier, brought the tradition of the Christmas Market right to downtown Kitchener and staged Canada’s first ever! In less than 20 years it has become the best known – and best loved – festival of this kind in Ontario. This year’s Christkindl Market officially opens on December 3 and runs through December 6, 2015 and is held in and around Kitchener City Hall. There is an awful lot in store for everyone, here are just some of the highlights to look forward to:
Traditionally one of the biggest reasons to visit any Christmas market is stock up on everything that makes Christmas, well, Christmas. Decorations, gifts, new clothes, food and much more. Over 70 vendors have signed up for 2015 and between them will offer everything from one off handmade Christmas ornaments to German winter clothing to traditional tableware and of course lots and lots of food gifts and much more. The vendors will be located inside City Hall and outside on King Street
No festival of any kind is ever complete without amazing food and there will certainly be a great deal of that on offer. From the savory sausages and giant smoked turkey legs to traditional German Christmas delights like Stollen, Marzipan Stollen, Lebkuchen, Hutzelbrot, Spitzkuchen and myriad of macaroons (not to be confused with the French macarons by the way) there is something for everyone to indulge in while strolling through the market and plenty to take home to warp for gifts as well.
Live entertainment is scheduled throughout the festival and includes choir performances, band recitals, dance performances and good old fashioned sing-a-longs. In addition there is a weekend long kids workshop, the amazing model railway village owned and maintained by Fred and Jenny Aldred and even blacksmithing demonstrations. And best of all? It’s all free.
Every year thousands of people from all over Canada – and even the world – flock to the Kitchener Christkindl Market and this year should be no exception. If you a regular or a first timer you are guaranteed to have lots of fun – although you might also spend lots of money – and who knows, maybe I’ll see you there.
For lots more information about the Kitchener Christkindl Market visit the official website here.