Skip Over Navigation

Always Free Admission


359 Days until our festival of German Christmas December 5 to 8, 2019

Media Stories from Previous Years

2011

Christkindl Continues Today - AngelsChristkindl Market continues today
Peter Lee, The Record staff

KITCHENER - There is still time left to do some early Christmas shopping at Kitchener's Christkindl Market. The annual event, celebrating its 15th year, wraps up at 4 p.m. today (Sunday) at Kitchener City Hall, where it fills the inside rotunda and overflows onto the courtyard fronting King Street. Over four days, vendors and their booths typically draw 35,000-45,000. Christkindl - meaning "Christ child" - traces its roots to 14th-century Bavaria. Temporary markets would pop up in front of churches at this time of year. 

CHRISTKINDL Dressed as angels, sisters (from left) Megan, 13, Liz, 15, and Chrissy Schmidt, 13, stroll though the Christkindl Market at Kitchener City Hall. The four-day event closes Sunday at 4 p.m.

Festivals celebrate Christmas of olde

ONE TANK TRIP, By JIM FOX, Special to QMI Agency  November 26, 2011

It's the season for some "Old-World" holiday traditions -- Christmas markets... downtown Kitchener is the place for a festival of German Christmas.

Markets have been part of the festive time for centuries in Germany, with the oldest recorded in 1310 in Munich. As the custom of giving gifts at Christmas grew so did the development of Christkindl markets. They became a popular place for the sale of children's toys, gift items and seasonal food specialties...

Everything's Wunderbar

Reflecting Kitchener's German heritage, Christkindl Market is the centuries-old seasonal tradition that's a feast for the eyes, ears and appetites.

And, perhaps for some, the biggest news is that apple fritters -- those apple rings battered with a hint of nutmeg, deep fried and dusted with confectioners' sugar -- are back, said publicist Monica Reid.

Other treats are German sausages, lebkucken (spice cake) and steaming mugs of gluhwein (mulled wine).

The 15th annual event from Dec. 1 through Dec. 4 outside and inside Kitchener City Hall attracts about 35,000 visitors.

"Christkindl magically transports the visitor to another country where Christmas celebrations are revered and perpetuated since the 14th century," said festival president Astrid Braun.

There are more than 70 food and gift vendors, a live nativity scene, model railway displays, visits with Christkindl (the Santa figure), angels, Knecht Ruprecht, a companion of Saint Nicholas, and Klaus, the organ grinder.

Along with numerous choirs, bands, dancers and blacksmith demonstrations, there is skating on the city hall's rink.

Hours are Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday (Dec. 3) 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday (Dec. 4) 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.christkindl.ca; (519) 741-2387

Christkindl Maintains TraditionChristkindl Market maintains tradition...

By Valerie Hill, Record staff  - Thursday December 1, 2011

KITCHENER - 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 15th 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.

By the 16th century, the name of such Christmas markets was changed to Christkindl, meaning Christ Child, the gift giver, but the basic premise is the same.

In Kitchener, the Christkindl Market was established in 1996 as a way to draw people into the downtown core, and it appears to have succeeded. Every year, between 35,000 and 40,000 visitors from around the province and from as far away as the U.S. come by the busload to experience a unique Christmas event, said Astrid Braun, president of the volunteer organizing committee. With 15 years under their belt, the well-honed committee meets half a dozen times a year, assisted by Kitchener city staff.

Braun said people often ask how the festival has grown, and what's new, but Christkindl is not about development. "It's about tradition," she said. "That's what people are looking for."

The market features an average of 70 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.

Braun said they have a "basic stable of returning vendors," though there is always someone eagerly waiting in the wings to replace vendors who either move on or retire, and the selection committee is careful to ensure there are no duplicates. "You don't want too much of the same product," she said.

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.

Braun also noted a market highlight has always been the entertainment on the outdoor stage, and she's particularly thrilled to have recruited four Swiss alpenhorn players who are, by day, farmers near Moorefield. The long alpenhorns are often the subject of romantic stories of life in the Swiss Alps and in Canada, they are most uncommon.

Entertainment will include 27 choirs, bands, dancers and musicians. As well, there is a draw for a trip to Germany for two, with proceeds donated to the Children's Wish Foundation.

Christkindl Market opens to the public Thursday at 10 a.m. and around 5:20 there will be a gathering at the clock tower in Victoria Park with the Grand Philharmonic Choir and the official lighting of Victoria Park, followed by a candlelit procession to city hall while everyone sings Christmas carols.

The official opening takes place at 6:30 p.m. with the Grand Philharmonic Choir standing on the city hall balcony singing the Hallelujah Chorus. It's all very moving, and very traditional.  See original article in The Record - -  vhill@therecord.com

Christkindl Market, Kitchener City Hall - 2011  HOURS 
Thursday, Dec. 1 and Friday, Dec. 2,     10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3,     9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4,     10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Entrance is free and parking at city hall is free on Saturday and Sunday

 

Snow helps festival enjoy biggest year yet

christkindl with kids(edited from) GREG MERCER, RECORD STAFF - KITCHENER

...Organizers of the Christkindl Market, in its 11th year as a traditional German Christmas bazaar, think the five-day event drew more than 35,000 people.

"I'd say it's a record year," said Astrid Braun, president of the festival committee... The festival, which included a dozen new vendors as well as German musical acts and dancers, also hauled in more than $4,000 for the Children's Wish Foundation.

Marketing manager Monica Reid said a new website and e-mail campaign spread the word about the festival, which drew bus tours from the U.S., and visitors from Europe. Crowds were so good the market may keep longer evening hours next year.

For the partially outdoor market, the weather couldn't have been much better, Reid said. Early snow helped set the Christkindl mood, and it was cool but not frigid -- an inviting temperature for skating or sipping a cup of hot apple cider.

knecht ruprecht"Last year was the 10th anniversary, and we thought we couldn't top that," said Debbie Wurm, who sold baked goods from her Grainharvest Breadhouse. "But this was even bigger..."

  

Christkindling Joy and Goodwill

Story by Susan Deefholts
Photos courtesy of Jan Pisarczyk of Pirak Studio
Reprinted from travellingtales.com

As my husband and I hurry through Kitchener's Victoria Park, I breathe in the crisp smell of winter. The bare branches of the trees and bushes are festooned with cheery lights that glow against the new-fallen snow. We cross the footbridge with its string of festive lights that glimmer in the fast-flowing stream below. On the little island - which in the summer is host to picnics and musical afternoons - small stalls sell brightly-patterned paper lanterns, and candles in special plastic cups that will shield their flames from the winter winds.

 The place is already thronged with people. There are children of all ages, parents, grandparents, and couples - all smiling and chattering as they hold their glowing candles in gloved hands and wait for the magic to begin.

Kitchener - which was once named Berlin - is steeped in German culture. The Christmas Market provides locals and visitors alike with a delightful alternative to the packed, sterile malls, with their piped in music and harried shoppers.

In Germany, this joyous custom dates back to the Middle Ages. Though there are different regional names for them - Weinachtsmarkt in the north, and Kristkindlmarkt in the south - they remain a beloved tradition in cities and towns across the country.

As we join the crowd today, bearing flickering candles of our own, I am glad of the layers I have worn - long johns, undershirt, sweater and down-filled jacket, my hands encased in cosy mittens. The cold is penetrating, but easily forgotten when I see the wide-eyed excitement of the children and the welcoming smiles and camaraderie of those around me.

And then the walk begins - a shimmering, candle-lit trek. We are led by Mary, Joseph and their stalwart donkey, through the snowy canopy of Victoria Park, and along the city streets, which have been closed off for the occasion. Music sheets are handed out and the singing begins, our breaths puffing in front of us with each note. Those who are particularly daring sing the German verses as well.

As we approach Kitchener City Hall, we can see that they have been waiting for us: a large stage dominates one end of the space, while all around, forming a convivial square, are stalls offering warm treats like potato pancakes and apple fritters. The smells waft towards us as we draw near.

trains tiny townThe summertime fountain is now an ice rink where young children linger near the edges, watching their older siblings show off in the centre.

As the crowd files into the square, the opening ceremonies begin: songs, speeches and performances. And then the Christmas lights decorating the building, the Christmas tree and the square are turned on to cheers and exclamations of delight. The Christkindl Market has officially opened!

My husband and I love coming to the market - it's a personal tradition that helps us get into the festive spirit each year. It's no surprise to me that it has garnered such diverse awards as "Best New Festival 1999" by Festivals and Events Ontario and "Top 10 Events in Ontario," in the course of its decade-long history.

Nor is the opening night the only time when visitors can sample the wares. There is Early Bird shopping on Wednesday. Thursday is the Candlelight Procession and opening ceremonies. The festivities continue all the way through the weekend, with a packed lineup of singers, dancers, and even bellringers.

And yet, the Thursday night is special - and so, while my husband lines up for wurst and sauerkraut, I make the most of my time, browsing through the fascinating stalls inside the vast foyer of the city hall, and defrosting a little in the process!

It's a great way to buy truly unique gifts for everyone on my list. I select a hand-crafted necklace from one stall, while a nearby toddler watches in fascination as a toymaker demonstrates the intricate mechanisms of his wares-carved wooden figurines that evoke days long past. A few moments later, I know exactly how the toddler feels, as I find a table of Fabergé-style eggs, each gilt-encrusted orb concealing its own little wonder.

People linger to examine German CDs and DVDs, beeswax candles and hand-made soaps. The stall that sells Dirndls and Lederhosen draws the attention of those who really want to get into the spirit of things by donning the traditional Bavarian garments for special occasions.

Between the brisk winter walk and my ever-growing array of purchases, I soon find that I've built up quite an appetite.

With a regretful glance at candy applethe stairs leading to a second floor of stalls, I pull on my mittens and slip outside to join my husband as he lines up for some fresh, hot apple fritters and mulled, spiced glühwein - a special treat to warm even the most chilled of hearts with that special Christmas feeling.

An elderly woman and her grandson stand nearby, watching the festivities. As the line moves forward, I overhear her exclaiming in her strong accent, "I can't believe it! It's like I'm back in the town where I was a little girl - just around your age!"

Her expression is lively as she speaks, her smile wide. The little boy grins up at her, and for a moment they are perfectly alike in their bright-eyed wonder.

Above us, the Christmas tree sparkles with lights. Oh Tannenbaum indeed!

This week Traveling Tales welcomes Susan Deefholts, a freelance travel writer who lives in Ontario, Canada..

About the photos:
1: One of the many entertainers during the Christkindl Market. 
2: Storyteller Knecht Ruprecht captures the attention of his audience. 
3: A youthful visitor points out a feature of the model railway village.  

Christkindling Joy and Goodwill, (Click for PDF) Story by Susan Deefholts

  

"By almost all accounts, it was a banner year for those in the business of mulled wine, donkey shows and woollen crafts who hawked their goods at Kitchener City Hall in recent days. Organizers of the Christkindl Market, in its 11th year as a traditional German Christmas bazaar, think the five-day event drew more than 35,000 people.

"I'd say it's a record year," said Astrid Braun, president of the festival committee. "We had retailers downtown who kept the same hours as us this year, because we were so busy."

The festival, which included a dozen new vendors as well as German musical acts and dancers, also hauled in more than $4,000 for the Children's Wish Foundation.

For the partially outdoor market, the weather couldn't have been much better, Reid said. Early snow helped set the Christkindl mood, and it was cool but not frigid -- an inviting temperature for skating or sipping a cup of hot apple cider.

Think Oktoberfest, except that the beer is replaced with Christmas cheer

Eine Gute Nacht, Rebecca Tucker, National Post, Published: Saturday, November 29, 2008
Though it's only late November, many people have already had their fill of commercial Christmas cheer. Department stores across the city have been adorned with yuletide decor since the day after Halloween, and most municipalities across the province have already hosted their annual Santa Claus parades. And with the innumerable festive plays, craft shows and events happening over the course of the next few weeks, many will feel all Christmas-ed out before the big day -- financially, if not psychologically.

The annual Christkindl festival, which takes place this coming weekend in Kitchener, roughly one hour away from Toronto, makes no qualms about being one of those festivals of traditional Christmas cheer. However, it has a few perks that set it apart from similar seasonal events -- namely, it promises not to drain your pocketbook.

People often feel the crunch this time of year," says Monica Reid, Christkindl's marketing chair. "One of the biggest advantages we have as a festival, and one that really draws people in, is the fact that [all of the events and attractions] are free."

Christkindl festivals, traditionally German events, occur across Europe around this time every year, and generally last for a full month. In Kitchener, Reid says, there's a strong emphasis on seasonal activities and sentiments, but that's not all there is to the city's 12th-annual celebration.

"Your first drive past all the events and venues is just magical," she explains. "You have a feeling of just being hugged by the crowd -- all the smells, tastes and sights of Christkindl bring back great memories of childhood Christmases."

Homestyle yuletide cheer is the strong suit here. The festival begins on Thursday night with a candlelight procession to Kitchener's City Hall Square, complete with carolling courtesy of the Grand Philharmonic Choir. The festival's weekend events include puppet shows, traditional dance performances and craft workshops -- all events that echo a more community-minded, less commercial approach to the holiday season. And, in keeping with the theme of Christmas nostalgia, there's a whole lot of food.

"We have everything from funnel cakes to schnitzel and schinken," Reid says of the event's many food vendors. (The snacks, unfortunately, are not free of charge.) "We also have more than 70 vendors, including craft and clothing vendors, so there's really something for everyone."

Also featured are a working model railway, listed on GardenRailway.comas one of the world's top holiday displays, a live Nativity (complete with real donkey) and a special post office with custom Christkindl postmarks, which appeals to both children mailing letters to Santa and philatelists (stamp enthusiasts). Last year, Christkindl was featured on Festivals & Events Ontario's Top 50 Festivals list, and it generally draws a crowd of roughly 40,000 people to Kitchener's downtown core, including school tours, local visitors and groups from the U. S.

"You don't just come to the festival for one reason," Reid says. "All of the city's public space downtown is taken over by Christkindl. The real joy of the festival is that you know what to expect, and that's what keeps people coming back."


‘Tis the Season

German Life Magazine: December 2006 by Krista Scarlett 
Savor sights, sounds, and spirit of a traditional German Christkindlmarkt a bit closer to home.

The view from Germany's Christkindlmärtke is enough to put even the grouchiest Scrooge in the Christmas spirit and warm anyone's heart, despite the cold temperatures outside. The extravagant lighting and the dazzling Christmas ornaments from the outside stands could brighten the darkest of winter skies and the scents from the delectable foods and treats inside can be smelled from miles away.

Every Christmas season, the memorable scents and sights of Christkindlmärtke draw in thousands of visitors. What once began centuries ago to signal the beginning of Advent season, in which traders would sell their goods in preparation for the cold winter days ahead, has grown into elaborate celebrations and anticipated traditions in many German communities.

Today, while maintaining the same focus, the markets have grown dramatically. They have become meeting grounds for locals to market their homemade Christmas decorations and treats while celebrating the joyous season with friends and family.

These German markets have even become so popular as to cross seas. Three towns across North America - Akron, Ohio; Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; and Denver, Colorado - have introduced their towns to this market, making this German tradition a local town favorite during the holiday season.

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
In 1996, Tony Bergmeier brought this German tradition of Christkindlmarkt to Kitchener, Ontario, making Kitchener the location for Canada's original Christkindlmarkt. Since then, the market has been so successful as to win such awards as "Best New Festival 1999" by Festivals and Events Ontario and "Top 10 Events in Ontario."

This year, Kitchener will celebrate its fourteenth annual market from December 2nd to the 5th. The celebrations begin with the candlelight procession and the opening ceremonies December 2nd at City Hall with the official lighting of the Christmas tree, as well as performances from the Hallelujah Chorus and Grand Philharmonic Choir. Every day visitors can enjoy live brass and gospel music as well as various German dancers and singers, a live nativity scene, and Kinderecke - a children's craft and pottery center. The market also holds over seventy vendors selling tasty treats, antiques, decorations, candles, coffees, toys, and ornaments. With so much variety, there is something for everyone. The market concludes December 9 at City Hall with closing remarks and raffles.

 

Kitchener revives tradition

By Jim Fox -- Special to the Sun -- Thursday December 7, 2006

An organ grinder entertains at Kitchener's Christkindl Market.

A centuries-old seasonal tradition that's a feast for the eyes, ears and appetite is re-enacted annually when Kitchener's downtown is turned into a festive German marketplace.

Reflecting the area's German roots, the Christkindl Market is a free event that will "magically transport the visitor to another country where Christmas celebrations are revered and perpetuated since the 14th century," said president Astrid Braun.

The five-day event starts today and runs through Sunday, Dec. 10, outside and inside Kitchener City Hall.

Christmas markets have been part of this festive time for centuries in Germany. They were usually held in front of churches, with the oldest recorded one being in 1310 in Munich.

In 1994, Christkindl Market was brought to Kitchener by Tony Bergmeier and today it attracts more than 35,000 people from across North America.


"It's an opportunity to experience the holiday spirit with vendors who entice you to buy traditional baked goods, chocolates, meat products, hand-carved gift items, woven blankets, cuckoo clocks and ornaments to treasure and keep forever," Braun said.

Entertainment includes choirs, bell ringers, bands, dancers and puppet shows. Featured are the 120 members of the Grand Philharmonic Choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

'SUCCULENT' FOODS

Add to that "succulent" foods such as German sausages, lebkucken (spice cake) and steaming mugs of gluhwein (mulled wine).

City hall is decorated for the season while inside 70 vendors offer handcrafted and traditional gifts, ornaments, toys, jewelry, florals, ceramics, stained glass and carvings.

There's a live nativity scene, films, children's crafts and pottery centre.

Other displays include blacksmith demonstrations, a crank organ and model railway display with Christmas scene. Cards and letters mailed at the festival will bear a special Christkindl postmark.

The old market tradition provided an opportunity for farmers to come to town, do some shopping and, at the same time, offer their wares.

As the custom of giving gifts at Christmas grew so did the development of Christkindl markets. They became a popular place for the sale of children's toys, gift items and seasonal food specialties.

Kitchener is a fitting location for the festival as the city was founded by German-speaking Mennonites more than 200 years ago.

The fest in Kitchener, a city known until 1916 as Berlin, is Canada's original.

It opens today 4 p.m.-8 p.m. for preview "early-bird" shopping.

Tomorrow is the official opening and includes a nighttime procession to city hall from St. Mary's Church at 6 p.m. with crowds of people carrying candles.

"Mary" and "Joseph" lead the procession and, in the spirit of the original Christkindl Market in Germany, church bells ring and trumpets sound en route to a manger where they spend the evening.

The ceremonies include the dramatic lighting of 1,500 twinkling bulbs on the city hall plaza where there's an outdoor skating rink.

There is also a draw for a trip for two to Stuttgart, Germany, and two Miele vacuum cleaners.

After today's preview, the market is open Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m.

The Kitchener city hall is at 200 King St. W. Parking is free on Saturday and Sunday in outdoor city lots and three parking garages (City Hall, Duke/Ontario Sts. and Kitchener Market). For more, contact 519-741-2387 or christkindlcanada.com  This story was posted on Thu, December 7, 2006 
German Life Magazine, (click for PDF) December 2006 Issue

ONE-TANK TRIPS: Christkindl market reflects German roots

Jim Fox, Special to The London Free Press 
December 2, 2006

A centuries-old seasonal tradition that's a feast for the eyes, ears and appetite is re-enacted annually when Kitchener's downtown is turned into a festive German marketplace.

Reflecting the area's German roots, the Christkindl Market is a free event that will "magically transport the visitor to another country where Christmas celebrations are revered and perpetuated since the 14th century," said president Astrid Braun.

The five-day event runs from Dec.6 though Dec. 10 outside and inside Kitchener city hall.

Christmas markets have been part of this festive time for centuries in Germany. They were usually held in front of churches, with the oldest one recorded in 1310 in Munich.

In 1994, Christkindl Market was brought to Kitchener by Tony Bergmeier and today it attracts more than 35,000 people from across North America.

"It's an opportunity to experience the holiday spirit with vendors who entice you to buy traditional baked goods, chocolates, meat products, hand-carved gift items, woven blankets, cuckoo clocks and ornaments to treasure and keep forever," Braun said.

Entertainment includes choirs, bell-ringers, bands, dancers and puppet shows. Featured are the 120 members of the Grand Philharmonic Choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Add to that succulent foods such as German sausages, lebkucken (spice cake) and steaming mugs of gluhwein (mulled wine).

Inside city hall, which is decorated for the season, 70 vendors will offer handcrafted and traditional gifts, ornaments, toys, jewelry, florals, ceramics, stained glass and carvings.

There's a live nativity scene, films, children's crafts and a pottery centre.

Other displays include blacksmith demonstrations, a crank organ and a model railway display with Christmas scene.

Cards and letters mailed at the festival will bear a special Christkindl postmark.

The old market tradition provided an opportunity for farmers to come to town, do some shopping and, at the same time, offer their wares.

As the custom of giving gifts grew, so did the development of Christkindl markets. They became a popular place for the sale of toys and other presents for children and for crafts, gift items and seasonal food specialties.

Kitchener is a fitting location for the festival as the city was founded by German-speaking Mennonites more than 200 years ago. The fest in Kitchener, a city known until 1916 as Berlin, is Canada's original.

Dec. 2 is the official opening and includes a nighttime procession to city hall from St. Mary's Church at 6 p.m. with crowds of people carrying candles.

"Mary" and "Joseph" lead the procession and, in the spirit of the original Christkindl Market in Germany, church bells will ring and trumpets sound en route to a manger where they spend the evening.

The ceremonies include the dramatic lighting of 1,500 twinkling bulbs on the city hall plaza where there's an outdoor skating rink.

There is also a draw for a trip for two to Stuttgart, Germany, and two Miele vacuum cleaners.

---

IF YOU GO KITCHENER'S CHRISTKINDL MARKET Location: Kitchener city hall, 200 King St. W.

Directions: Take Highway 401 east from London (west from Toronto) to Exit 278B (Highway 8), which becomes King Street, then turn right on Young Street.

Parking: Free on Saturdays and Sundays in City of Kitchener surface lots and three parking garages (City Hall, Duke/Ontario Streets and Kitchener Market).  Details: 1-519-741-2387.

Jim Fox is a freelance writer based in Kitchener, Ont. 
WEB: www.christkindlcanada.com E-MAIL: info@christkindlcanada.com E-MAIL: onetanktrips@netscape.net

U Tube Video by Ghinel Bozek with vendors, visitors, Astrid Braun + Monica Reid
See Ghinel Bozek's video on
YouTube December 2009
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.
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.
Love it. Traditional December event we all look forward to at our house. Thanks!
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
Nice! I just moved back from living in Europe for 9 years, this was so nice!
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.
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.
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.
It brings back memories of Germany during the Christmas season!
Excellent community spirit and great event for family. Loved the food, gluhwein, apple fritters, sauerkraut..
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.
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.
Vielen Dank dass Sie diese herrliche Tradition aus Deutschland herueber gebracht haben. Ich wuenschte wir koennten jaehrlich kommen um den Christkindl Markt zu besuchen.
Beautiful. Love the nativity and ornaments. Everything ist wunderbar
Love this festival - begins Christmas!
"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."
We love it! It gets us in the Christmas spirit!
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.
...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.
Great Job - Christkindl Market! Saves us a trip to Germany!
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!
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.
"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.
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
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!
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!
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.
Love it-part of my yearly Christmas tradition!
Ich Liebe Christkindl Markt
Love your market!!
The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Kitchener
Wonderful - An annual event for myself!
The joy is yours!
Just like Germany! Love the organ grinder!
Love the Market! It's my first time here and it's been awesome! Thank you!
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...
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
Nice to preserve our cultural heritage. We really enjoyed the train room
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.
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
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!
I'm now feeling the Christmas Spirit. Thank you!
Wonderful! My husband is German- was like home for him! Visiting is becoming a yearly tradition! Thanks!
I will be there again to enjoy my childhood memories all over again, not to forget the food and smells of this special time.
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.
Love the market, reminds me of my time living in Germany
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.
It is well organized
Can you please do a candlelight precession on Friday and Saturday nights too?
Think Oktoberfest, except that the beer is replaced with Christmas cheer.
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.
Wonderful Tradition!

Heffner Downtown Kitchener Dejardins KW Record Rogers TV BALL Construction City of Kitchener