Did you visit our Market this year? Did you experience our Christkindl Market?
Please tell us your story and send your photos ...
Christkindl markets are a quaint tradition in many cities and towns in Germany (the most famous one is in Nuremberg) in the weeks leading up to Christmas. To stroll between the stands with some Glühwein and roasted chestnuts looking at the wares for sale, listening to Christmas music is a special experience. The Christkindl market in Kitchener taps into that rich German heritage and it is heartwarming to be surrounded by special food, music and Christmas spirit. As the Christkindl Market has expanded over the last years, more and more people from Kitchener/Waterloo and surrounding areas are participating in this unique German inspired experience. We are looking forward to it every year. - - Renate, New Hamburg, Ontario
This our favourite photo from the Christkindl Market in Kitchener.
It was a beautiful snowfall at the day of the Christkindl and our three children were outside soaking it in. 2008 was a very special Christkindl because it was the last year my mother was with us. My mother is the one who instilled all the German customs in us and we now pass on to our children. In my opinion, this photo epitomizes the enjoyment of the Christmas season, the Christkindl Market festival and magic and joy of childhood... thank you for all your efforts in putting together the Christkindl Festival! - - Onil, Whitby, Ontario
Great as ever-don't change it. It smells great.
Ausgezeichnet! Es ist toll wie in Germany. Hura-Hura-christkindel ist da! Alle Jahre immer wieder schon
We absolutely love it! Fantastic displays and interesting crafts and food.Well-organized and lots to see.
I am German, and thoroughly enjoy the CK Market!! I would like to take my Irish husband to Germany.
We love it! It's become a family tradition! Reminds me of my German heritage childhood.
The first time my kids have seen German Christmas traditions, very nice!
It adds warmth to City Hall. We appreciate the work that is done by so many to uphold German traditions.
My Story" sent to us from Karen McComish
"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 time is the one time of the year that people actually look at others and smile, wishing them the very best. It's such a shame we can't be like this all throughout the year.
As we entered the building, just inside we saw so many beautiful Angels, then Santa's from around the world, and finally there were so many beautiful ornaments to see, 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 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."
Kindling the Christmas spirit - from Barb Bout
"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."
Herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland von Michael und Linda Seefeldt - Stanfield, Oregon, USA
"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."
This was a Letter from Tracey Saraceni
"My husband and I began going to the Christkindl market about 4 years ago shortly after we got married. It was a year where neither of us was much in the holiday spirit with all of the stress of everyday life and thought we would go down to at least look around and get out of the house.
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 advertisements of when it will be 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 Maggie Rose
"My grandson Adam and his grade 9 class visited your event in Kitchener yesterday. He is not a very talkative boy and when asked how his school outings were, he would say 'fine' and nothing more.
I forwarded your web address to my daughter, and she in turn showed my grandson your website. Adam was so talkative and kept saying it was an amazing visit. He talked to the blacksmith at length, asked many questions, and saw so many things he wanted to buy for his mother and sister, he enjoyed the apple fritters, and had a wonderful time there. He talked a lot, and pointed out on the computer the people and things he saw when he was there, and would have liked to stay longer and have had more money with him.
It sure looks and sounds good from the brochure I have, and from what I hear. It had to be exceptional in order for Adam to get so excited in telling his mother all the fun things he did and saw there."
Letter from Linda Lang, Montreal
"Guten tag Herr Tony Bergmeier and Elves,
Thank you so very much for a true authenic ChristkindlMarkt here in Canada. The joy of experiencing your Christkindlmarket throughout my 3 day weekend was memorable and treasureful and I thank myself for having finally taken the opportunity to attend it. I have attached photos, please forward to the Christkindl and Superstar Angels. It was a pleasure seeing you all and I look forward to next year's.
God bless, Frohes festes and Alles Gute."
Letter from Pamela Dawes, Stratford
"Having spent four years living in Germany, I found there was so much I missed upon my return. I had been living in a small town in the Black Forest region while I was teaching on the Canadian Forces Base in Lahr. However, upon my return (and a subsequent move 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."
Letter from Dee
"... I just wanted to let you know that we enjoyed our Saturday browsing very much. Then we topped it off with the ultimate experience - standing in the softly falling snow, munching on a hot sausage, while listening to The Phil singing "Silent Night" in German. It can't get any better than that!"
Letter from Dirk, Essen Germany
"Ich bin durch eine in Canada lebende Tante auf ihren Christkindl-Markt aufmerksam geworden. Daher habe ich mir aus der Ferne via Internet ihre Fotos angeschaut. Ich bin begeistert.Ich wünsche ihnen auf diesem Wege viel Glück mit dem Wetter, da die beste Stimmung auf dem Weinachtsmarkt bei etwas Kälte und leichtem Schneefall aufkommt."
Story from Claudia
"In the year 1996 I found out that there was going to be an authentic German Christkindl Market in the square of our City Hall in downtown Kitchener. I was all excited, "how could I get involved, what could I do to help make this wonderful idea that Mr. Tony Bergmeier had, happen"? Those were the questions that ran through my head. I had no skills in anything like that, so I thought.
Well, all of a sudden I did find myself involved in something wonderful.... I was priviledged to take part in making the costumes for the angels and even the "Christkindl." But that was not enough for me, I wanted to be there every day to see and hear the magic that this Market brings. So I asked if I could rent a booth outside the Square. How wonderful it was! I felt like a little kid again, only now I was part of it, not a visitor. I tried my best in making "Zwetschgenmanderl", one of the authentic items one can buy at the Nuernberger Kristkindl Markt. It made me happy when people with smiling faces stood in front of my booth, telling me that they remember these little figurines made out of dried prunes and a walnut as a head.
I had a wonderful time being part of the Christkindl Market, I still go every year, only now I am just a visitor.
Thank you Onkel Tony, may your market make everybody as happy as it makes me.
Letter from Charlotte Kraus
"Thank you Tony 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 Christkindle Markts 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. To mind comes the candlelight procession when in the realm of our imagination Mary and Joseph might as well be coming from Nazareth as from Kitchener's Victoria Park. 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. From the booths, around the wonderfully lighted Christmas tree waft the tantalizing aromas of spicy sausages, aromatic hot drinks and cinnamon sugared delectables, commonly known as apple fritters... Thank you for making this magical Christmas event possible."
Letter from Wilma Antaya
"The songs, food and market vendors have brought the spirit of Christmas to City Hall and for our family the beginning of Christkindl Market has marked the beginning of our holiday season."
Editorial comment by Krista Gould and published in The Record
"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."
Letter sent by Jane
"We love the Christkindlmarkt! You have made the effort to replicate a traditional German Christmas market, and we eagerly anticipate the market's opening night each year. The Christkindlmarkt is the perfect way to experience the joy of being outdoors in the winter. I love that this is an outdoor festival (but that one can also be indoors!) and that the procession, the opening festivities, etc. are all held outdoors.
Great efforts have been made to replicate the green and white awnings, the traditional foods, traditional toys, the 'characters' of Knecht Ruprect, the Christkind, etc. The Christkindlmarkt is a little piece of Germany, transported to Kitchener. Keep up the fantastic work! "