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133 Days ‘til our festival of German Christmas December 7 to 10, 2017

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A selection of hi-res photos available for media 2014 Event Brochure Press Release 2014 Radio/Audio

20TH ANNUAL CHRISTKINDL MARKET, KITCHENER, ON,
Festival of German Christmas

Who am I?

I'm 20 years old. I'm steeped in tradition.

My history goes back seven centuries to Munich, Germany, but you'll find me in the heart of your city.

For years you've come to savour my Brats & Fritters, Leberkaese & Lebkuchen, Potato Pancakes & Waffles, Schnitzel & Stollen, Pulled Pork & Pretzels, Pastries, Dominosteine & Chocolates all out of wooden Alpine huts.

I'm where you do your Christmas shopping from unique indoor vendors like Chill Beaters & Silver Thistle, Three Oak Crafts & The Green Frogg Wood Works & Blown Away Glass and The Old Etonia Schoolhouse where you'll pick up a glass-blown pickle ornament for your tree.

I am where you go to hear trumpets & accordions where you can twirl around with women in Dirndls on Carl Zehr Square while you weave between dancers in Lederhosen.

I am where you visit when you want to bring out the German in you when you want to meet the one who knows if you've been bad or good where you come to be a kid & watch trains go 'round & 'round.

I have a roaring hot fire that blacksmiths show you how to tame. I have a mulled beverage that'll warm both your toes & nose while you hum all the carols you know so well.

I'm where you'll find not one angel but two.

I am the star of this festival.

Who am I?

Let's meet at my Preview/Reception - Thursday November 3, 2016 ~ 6:00 p.m.
Berlin Tower ARTSPACE  (1st floor, Kitchener City Hall, the Show runs November 1-30, 2016)


19TH ANNUAL CHRISTKINDL MARKET, KITCHENER, ON
Festival of German Christmas

Christkindl Market, December 3-6, at Kitchener City Hall. Please visit our website www.christkindl.ca for event hours.

Admission is always free! Making it easy for people and families to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy live entertainment from about 30 bands, choirs and dance groups, partake in kids crafts & workshops, visit the model railway, and browse over 75 merchants booths filled with Christmas treats and treasures. And, meet Christkindl, her angels, Knecht Ruprecht, Klaus the Organ Grinder and even Haribo Bear.

Christkindl (pronounced “kris kindle”) sits on the list of the Top 50 Festivals and Events in Ontario, with thousands attending each year. From Dec. 3 to 6, people from around the region, and visitors from as far as the United States and Europe, experience this four-day event to signal the beginning of Advent.

Opening ceremony begins with a candlelight procession up Gaukle Street to Kitchener City Hall that departs at 6:00 p.m. On Thursday, December 3rd. Highlights include Hallelujah chorus by Grand Philharmonic Choir and Christkindl's official lighting of Carl Zehr Square.

In addition, the event provides many opportunities to give back including accepting donations to The Children's Wish Foundation, Concordia German Language School and the Waterloo County Shrine Club.

"Your first walk past all the events and venues is just magical. You have a feeling of just being hugged by the crowd -- all the smells, tastes and sights of Christkindl Market bring back great memories of childhood Christmases." Said Chair of Marketing, Monica Reid.

Christkindl Market was brought to Kitchener's City Hall by founder Tony Bergmeier in 1996. It was designed to breathe life into the core of downtown Kitchener. Today, over 35,000 visitors from across North America come to experience our award-winning festival.

If you would like to arrange an interview, please contact us.

Christkindl Market FUN FACTS

12 Visits to Christkindl Market ♫

  1. Celebrating 19 years in Kitchener City Hall in downtown Kitchener in 2015.

  2. 100's of volunteers each year, including committee members, Christkindl, other folkloric characters, bands, choirs, dance groups and entertainers.

  3. Over 75 vendors outside and indoors.

  4. Official postmarking on over 500 letters mailed each year through our Christkindl Market Post Office.

  5. 30 live performances onstage.

  6. 15-20 buses (students to seniors from ON, MI & NY)

  7. $75,000 raised for The Children's Wish Foundation over the past 18 years.

  8. We support North America's largest Saturday
    German School in North America, Concordia German Language School, with about 500 students.

  9. Awarded Top 100 Festivals Events in Ontario.

  10. 1,800 lbs of apples = 36,000 apple fritters
    consumed in 4 days.

  11. Participated in 19 Oktoberfest parades and 19 Santa Claus parades.

  12. $75,000 invested by Fred and Jenny Aldred for their beloved Garden Model Railway Display.

  13. Over 900 bottles of Gluhwein consumed.

  14. 48,000 samples of Haribo Gummi Bears!

♫ ♫ ♫

On our twelfth visit to Christkindl Market

we came out to see

twelve apple fritters steaming

eleven ornaments sparkling

ten dancers dancing

nine huts with treasures

eight wooden toys

seven trumpets trumpeting

six Girlfriends singing

five model trains chugging

four festive days

three heavenly faces

two Christmas trees

and an organ grinder playing music happily.

♫ ♫ ♫

Media

• Press Release 11th Annual 2007
Press Release 9th Annual 2005
Press Release 8th Annual 2004
Press Release 7th Annual 2003
Press Release 6th Annual 2002
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We absolutely love it! It's been a family tradition to go to the German Christmas market at the Toronto International Centre since I was a small child back in the 70's and 80's. Now I have children of my own and we have been coming to the Kitchener Christkindl Market for the past 10 years. We stay at a nearby bed and breakfast go to the farmers market and then the Chirstkindl. It's a beautiful weekend that we look forward to all year long. I love the whole German feel. My mother was German from Darmstadt. We grew up speaking German with all the German customs and festivities. Christmas and Nikolaus Tag were our favourites. Your Christkindl still captures that traditional German feel with the products, food, childrens/adult choir and German people. The smell of the the roasted beer nuts, bratwurst, goulash soup, saurkraut, potato pancakes and blacksmith fire in the crisp, cold winter air creates a feeling in me that I cannot explain. It really makes me and my family feel wonderful and happy. With all the craziness in today's world, it's so good to know we can disappear for a weekend in the warmth and nostalgia of the Christkindl.
Love the Market! It's my first time here and it's been awesome! Thank you!
Wonderful! My husband is German- was like home for him! Visiting is becoming a yearly tradition! Thanks!
Vielen Dank dass Sie diese herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland herueber gebracht haben. Ich wuenschte wir koennten jaehrlich kommen um den Christkindl Markt zu besuchen.
It is well organized
Ich Liebe Christkindl Markt
"Homesick" for the sights, smells and sounds of Germany. I had been living in a small town in the Black Forest region while I was teaching on the Canadian Forces Base in Lahr. On my return to Stratford, I found the Kitchener Christkindl Market. Somehow, I did not feel quite as "homesick" for the sights, smells and sounds of Germany! It is a wonderful experience, one I look forward to every year.
Love the market, reminds me of my time living in Germany
It brings back memories of Germany during the Christmas season!
As we entered the building, we saw so many beautiful Angels, and so many beautiful ornaments, so unique to this event that you couldn't buy them anywhere else. What a memory. My daughter and I attend this event each and every year. It's like our own tradition, just for the 2 of us. It's a night out together to bond, celebrate the holidays and of course to look for that very special Christmas ornament for this year.
...we'd like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival.
I took my daughter for the first time 5 years ago and what a special event this was for both of us. We visited the manger live nativity scene, it was beautiful. We listened to the Christmas music, I can't believe how just humming a little Christmas song can put you in such good spirits with yourself and others. Christmas is the one time of the year that people actually look at others and smile, wishing them the very best. It's a shame we can't be like this throughout the year.
As always, our family enjoyed the Christkindl Market so very much! Thank you for nurturing this tradition in Kitchener - we hope it keeps going for many, many years... Thank you once again for a wonderful Christmas experience our family has made part of our yearly tradition!
Every year the City Hall in Kitchener transforms into a German style Christmas Market complete with food, carollers, ice skating and lots more. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event and it did not disappoint. City Hall was decked out with vendors, food, Christmas decorations and entertainment to convince even the meanest Grinch that this truly is the best time of the year. WONDERS OF WINTER
It is awesome! This reminds me of all of the traditional Christmas markets I saw in Germany. I loved the markets in Germany and miss them a great deal, how nice it is to relive a bit of the atmosphere here in Kitchener.
Wonderful - An annual event for myself!
I'm now feeling the Christmas Spirit. Thank you!
The joy is yours!
Christmas spirit ...we like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival.
My mom has taken my brother and I to the Christkindl Market ever since it first opened. We felt surrounded by love and happiness and enjoyed being around the German community - especially because we could not be with our family in Germany at Christmas. I still remember and still feel the warm feelings I first felt when I visit the Christkindl Market. I always make sure I attend each year with my Mom and now take my daughter along as well. I hope she too will be able to attend for years to come and in the future, bring her children as well.
Herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland - Ich war nur mal zu einem Christkindl Markt. Das war circa 1975 in Pforzheim im Schwarzen Wald. Ich kann mich noch nach all diesen Jahren an die wunderbaren Lichter und Aromas, so wie all die schoene Musik und die Weihnachts Stimmung, ganz gut erinnern, als wenn es gestern war.
I just want to thank the team that sets up the Christmas Tree and oversees Christkindl. What a wonderful way to spend a lunch hour! I go every year on Thursday and Friday. I LOVE it! It just lifts the spirits and is so "magical"! Thank you for such a wonderful experience, every year!
My husband's family is German and up until we visited the Christkindl Market a few years ago I only had stories and some samplings of the different Christmas foods from Germany from his family. Until we visited your wonderful market I never really understood the fascination my husband has always had for German Christmas. Since that first visit my husband starts planning our next visit in October! He wouldn't miss it for the world and I have come to appreciate his heritage even more through experiencing this bit of Germany in Canada! Every year we bring our teenagers and invite our friends. Thank you for all your hard work - Christmas isn't Christmas for us now without the Christkindl Market!
As the rest of the world gallops forward, there is a tradition that keeps people in Waterloo Region firmly rooted in the past, at least during Christmas. The annual four-day Christkindl Market opens Thursday in front of Kitchener City Hall, recreating a Bavarian tradition first officially recorded in 1310. The original market, called Nikolausdult, was designed as a temporary affair constructed from wood and canvas and erected in front of a church. Visitors from far and wide would arrive to both sell and purchase items, some from other countries, giving the market an international flavour. Then in a few days, it would all disappear. "It's about tradition," she said. "That's what people are looking for." The market features vendors, selling all manner of items: German-made toys, handcrafted jewelry, art glass items, gift baskets, beeswax candles, gifts, chocolate and marzipan, original art, music, leather, hand-painted wearable art, tree decorations, music boxes and everyone's favourite, apple fritters. Christkindl Market takes over much of city hall, both inside and out, with gift vendors indoors and food outdoors on Civic Square, where they will pander to anyone with a hankering for Germanic food, including schnitzel, marinated herring and Schinken on a bun as well as the regular crowd pleasers such as sausage, potato pancakes, stollen and waffles. This is no time to go on a diet. And for those needing a rest, the 10th floor has been turned into a place to sit, relax and eat your goodies.
Christmas spirit ... we'd like to see all of the vendors. It's a wonderful event and my Christmas spirit doesn't begin until I attend your festival
Nice to preserve our cultural heritage. We really enjoyed the train room
I will be there again to enjoy my childhood memories all over again, not to forget the food and smells of this special time.
It was amazing what wonders it did for us! From the lights and the music and the smells and watching everyone smiling and laughing...it instantly lifted our spirits and helped us keep them there through the whole holiday. Now we can't wait year to year for the first ads and we rush to mark it on the calendars. We always go the Friday night, no kids or friends, just us - to sit and take it all in. You don't know what you are missing until you have been there!" - Letter from
"I will be there again on the Saturday to enjoy my childhood memories all over again, not to forget the food and smells of this special time."
My two-year-old son, was in total rapture as he looked upon a display of moving toys. A lady was watching my son's dreamy state. This kind-hearted lady said she wanted to buy it for my little guy, and that she was going to be thinking about him on Christmas morning as he unwraps his gift from her. I want her to know Santa does not have to be in a red suit with bells on and a beard. He could also be a she, a kind and special lady.
Our family has been coming to the Christkindl Market in Kitchener for five years now. We absolutely love it there. The sights, sounds and smells really put us in the Christmas spirit. This has become a very cherished part of our Christmas traditions. Three generations of our family take part in it. What a special time is had by all. Thanks for the memories...already looking forward to next year.
Think Oktoberfest, except that the beer is replaced with Christmas cheer.
Love your market!!
Ich war nur mal zu einem Christkindl Markt. Das war circa 1975 in Pforzheim im Schwarzen Wald. Ich kann mich noch nach all diesen Jahren an die wunderbaren Lichter und Aromas, so wie all die schoene Musik und die Weihnachts Stimmung, ganz gut erinnern, als wenn es gestern war. Vielen Dank dass Sie diese herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland herueber gebracht haben. Ich wuenschte wir koennten jaehrlich kommen um den Christkindl Markt zu besuchen.
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Kitchener
Nice! I just moved back from living in Europe for 9 years, this was so nice!
We love it! It gets us in the Christmas spirit!
Beautiful. Love the nativity and ornaments. Everything ist wunderbar
Love this festival - begins Christmas!
It is a magical experience for me as a vendor and all the visitors that attend. Everybody is happy and excited and enjoying all the events, food, atmosphere, entertainment, and the unique vendors wares. Thanks to those that had the vision to start Christkindl 20 years ago, and all that played a role over the years to making Christkindl a success.
Love it-part of my yearly Christmas tradition!
Thank you, for bringing to our community the Christkindl Market, an event that has rekindled in the hearts of so many, the wonder and joy, the excitement and awe of those memorable Christkindl Markets in Germany so many years ago. Thanks for your vision, your dream and your spirit. You make it possible for people of another age, a new generation, and varied cultures to enjoy the magic. Our hearts quicken at the sound of the fanfare at the opening ceremony and our eyes grow misty to the sweet sound of the music and song that fills the winter air...
Love it. Traditional December event we all look forward to at our house. Thanks!
Just like Germany! Love the organ grinder!
Excellent community spirit and great event for family. Loved the food, gluhwein, apple fritters, sauerkraut..
Wonderful Tradition!
If you can't be at a Christmas Market in Germany, the Christkindl Market in Oktoberfest City (Kitchener, Ontario), is the closest it can get. They even have real, hot mulled wine, a staple at every German Weihnachtsmarkt. For us, visiting the market in Kitchener was a few hours back home away from home. Very nice!
Thank you all for making this German Christmas festival a reality so that we can enjoy the Christmas season and make many special memories for ourselves and more importantly for our children. To another 100 years of Christkindl Market, Kitchener! Frohe Weihnachten
Can you please do a candlelight precession on Friday and Saturday nights too?
Kindling the Christmas Spirit -I remember the first year of the Market about 10 years ago. Snow falling gently, beautiful German music playing outside, high quality Christmas goods for purchase from friendly vendors, hot-mulled cider, the nativity scene, the skaters - what atmosphere!!! The magic has hooked me ever since. So much different from the mall! Thanks for kindling the Christmas spirit.
Great Job - Christkindl Market! Saves us a trip to Germany!
Santa does not have to be in a red suit The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Kitchener: My four-year-old daughter; two-year-old son, my Mom and I had gone to Christkindl on Dec 7. My son was in total rapture as he looked upon a display of moving toys. To the right of me was a lady watching my son's gazing and dreamy state. The lady took a box with the toy inside and shoved it under my arm; my reaction was no, no, no. I looked at this kind-hearted lady and she said she wanted to buy it for the little guy, and that she was going to be thinking about him on Christmas morning as he unwraps his gift from her. I want her to know Santa does not have to be in a red suit with bells on and a beard. He could also be a she, a kind and special lady.

Heffner BALL Construction City of Kitchener KW Record Radio Herz Rogers TV Children's Wish Fund