Hamilton’s Christkindlmarkt, an authentic German Christmas market, will return for the seventh year today through Sunday.
The festivities will include food, German wares and live entertainment. Santa will visit on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.
“The committee is excited about the growth of Christkindlmarkt in seven years. It brings the community and the surrounding areas together to celebrate Hamilton and its German heritage,” said chair Barb Zellner, who co-chairs the event with Beth Robson.
The Christkindlmarkt was founded on the tradition of German Christmas markets that feature food, drinks, live music, dance, and vendors with toys, clothing, jewelry, cheeses, chocolates, furniture and more. This year, there will be 19 vendors, including a children’s Santa Shop, which features gifts children can buy. The entertainment line-up has been expanded this year.
“Hamilton is known for German Village, and it has a German heritage, so we thought it would be nice to have something German for the people in Hamilton,” Zellner said.
Each year, the Children’s Lantern Parade helps kick off the festivities on Friday at 6 p.m. from the Presbyterian Church of Hamilton, 23 S. Front St., and travels to Courtyard by Marriott. There will be several stops along the route. Children ages 4 to 11 are invited to participate and must be accompanied by an adult. Children may participate with a lantern or a flashlight. Paper lanterns may be purchased the day of the event for $5.
The entertainment will include Mike Engel and Friends on Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday’s line-up includes Gerhard Albinus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Germania Karneval (German dancers) at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., the Highland Elementary Chorus from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and The Klaberheads from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mike Engel will return on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., along with Hamilton High’s Rhapsody in Blue, who will perform from 3:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Santa will be there from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, children can make their own ropes with The Rope Man, Dick Bunger.
Food offerings will include brats, metts, hot dogs, sauerkraut, green beans, mashed potatoes and desserts – apple strudel, cherry strudel and cream puffs. Guests may purchase individual items and meals. The Mustard Man will provide mustard for the food booth. There will also be German beer and wine available.
“I’m looking forward to families coming out and enjoying themselves. It’s a neat thing to come up to the German Village, and experience all of the great things happening in Hamilon,” Zellner said. “This keeps the spirit of the German Christmas alive.”
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