Kitchener Christkindl Market

A weekend tradition

This is a great winter tradition. I have visited this myself, with my sisters and German class – mainly on the weekend. Great handmade items, food and products. There is food vendors, live entertainment, and live nativity scene. It is a great atmosphere and in last few years (writing 2018) they expanded into a portion of the street in front of the city hall – where it is held. It is held over the first Thursday to Sunday of December.

Website and Socials:

https://www.christkindl.ca/

https://web.facebook.com/ChristkindlCanada?_rdc=1&_rdr

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwAbPQnmwhpRfORlmlZ7hpQ

Where and Contact:

Kitchener City Hall
200 King St. W. Kitchener, ON Canada N2G 4G7
INFO only: 519-741-2200 x7387
info@christkindl.ca
#ChristkindlCA #KitchenerEvents

Hours:

December 6, 2018 10 am – 9 pm (Official Opening, 6 pm)

December 7, 2018 10 am – 9 pm

December 8, 2018 9 am – 9 pm

December 9, 2018 10 am – 4 pm (Official Closing and Draw, 4 pm)

Future Festival Dates:

22nd Annual Dec 6-9, 2018
23rd Annual Dec 5-8, 2019
24th Annual Dec 3-6, 2020

22nd Anniversary ~ December 6-9, 2018

About:

This year we have expanded the festival to include a King Street experience in partnership with the Downtown Kitchener BIA. Browse the beautifully constructed huts featuring a variety of vendors, including food & giftware. You can even get your greens including Christmas trees, wreaths and more along King Street in front of Kitchener City Hall.

Entertainment 30 bands, choirs, and dance groups entertain you on the outdoor stage. There are also blacksmith demonstrations, live nativity. All live entertainment takes place on the stage outdoors on the square. Please dress appropriate for the weather.

Trains No visit to the Christkindl Market is complete until you’ve seen the wondrous “G” Scale Garden Railway display by Jenny and Fred Aldred. The train room is on the first floor in the Conestoga Room.

History & Folklore When you visit Kitchener, you will be welcomed by the oldest and largest German community in Canada, and by folkloric Christmas characters that walk around the festival outside and inside. Feel free to take a selfie with them. Be sure to chat with them in English or German. You’ll meet Christkindl, her Angels, Knecht Ruprecht and Klaus the Organ Grinder. On Saturday, even the Haribo Bear (of gummie bear fame) makes a guest appearance.

Vendors Traditional wooden huts and indoor booths boast over 70 vendors with traditional handmade Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, wood carved toys, pyramids, figurines, jewelry, clothing and delicious German food, to eat here and take home. Vendors are located in huts outside on the square and inside the Rotunda of Kitchener City Hall. More vendors on the 2nd floor inside. This year we have expanded the festival to include a King Street Experience in partnership with the Downtown Kitchener BIA. Browse the beautifully constructed huts featuring a variety of vendors, including food, giftware and get all your Christmas greens including Christmas trees, wreaths and more along King Street in front of City Hall.

WIN prizes. Visit the Children’s Wish Foundation booth for your ballot.

City of Kitchener Parking Lot Map
Saturday there is FREE parking underground at Kitchener city hall garage only.
Sunday it’s FREE parking at ALL Kitchener city lots.

Future Festival Dates: (traditionally, our Christkindl Market runs over the weekend of 2nd Advent)
22nd Annual Dec 6-9, 2018
23rd Annual Dec 5-8, 2019
24th Annual Dec 3-6, 2020
25th Annual Dec 2-5, 2021

Folklore, History and Awards:

Experience the joy of our international phenomenon

Every Christmas, since medieval times, towns and cities across Germany have come alive 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.

These are just some of the sights, sounds and smells of your authentic German Christmas Market experience at Christkindl, where you will be welcomed by the oldest and largest German community in Canada – and by folkloric German Christmas characters like the Christkindl, Angels, Knecht Ruprecht and Klaus the Organ Grinder.

Stalls selling mulled wine and delicious sugar-coated Stollen fruit cakes. The smell of apples, cinnamon, baked treats and grilled sausages fill the air. Choirs sing carols and visitors join in. The sounds of blacksmiths’ hammers and organ grinders remind of a time long forgotten. Orchestras and brass bands play and dancing troupes dance through the streets. As night falls, a giant Christmas tree comes to life, filling the town square with twinkling lights and glittering ornaments, and dancing gives way to skating under the stars. Today, Christkindl markets have been exported around the world, spreading the unique spirit and experience that is German Christmas, to millions of people seeking to create magical memories of the season for their families.

A centuries-old German tradition

Christmas markets have been part of this festive time for centuries in Germany. They were usually held in front of churches and were looked at as part of a church visit. The oldest recorded market dates to 1310 in Munich, Germany. It was called “Nikolausdult” and was very different from the markets of today. It was an opportunity for farmers to come to town, do some shopping and at the same time, offer their wares.
The reformation of the church in the 16th century brought changes to the Christmas markets. Nikolaus was replaced by the Christkindl (Christchild) as the gift giver and the Nikolaus markets became Christkindl markets. This custom began in the Protestant areas of Bavaria with Nuremberg being the first city to call its market “Christkindlesmarkt.” Munich, a Catholic city, changed its “Nikolausdult” to “Christkindlmarkt” in 1805.

“This little town is built from wood and canvas. Its splendour’s short,
will soon be gone. But yet it is eternal. My market is forever young…”

From Nuremberg’s Prologue of the Christ Child, an essential part of the Christkindl Market opening ceremonies.

For over 600 years German communities have continued the tradition of erecting Christmas markets in the central square of their cities and towns – erecting tiny wooden huts where cooks, artisans and merchants could peddle their wares, and providing a place where people could meet to share songs, food and gifts. We’ve continued that tradition, bringing together more than 70 vendors of local artisana handicraft, decorations, jewellery, food and more. With an emphasis on Old World European theme and flavour, you’re sure to find one-of-a-kind gifts and treasures – to sample on-site, or to take home for
family and friends.

Founded in 1996

Christkindl Market was brought to Kitchener’s City Hall by founder Tony Bergmeier. 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.

Awards

Top 100 Festivals & Events Ontario

Christkindl Market celebrates being named one of the Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario, presented by VIA Rail Canada.

Top 10 Events & Best New Festival

Christkindl Market was awarded ‘Best New Festival by Festivals and Events Ontario and ‘Top 10 Events in Ontario.’ Other awards include: Oktoberfest Parade – Wunderbar, Harvest, Sponsorship and Spirit and Enthusiasm. Kitchener Downtown Business Association (KDBA) – Arts and Culture Contribution.

Ontario Volunteer Service Award Winner 2013

Christkindl Market is only possible through the efforts of hundreds of volunteers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *