Annual Christkindl market kicks off in Carl Zehr Square

If you’re looking for some creative and locally made items for the holiday season, the annual Christkindl market has officially opened up at Carl Zehr Square.

The four-day event put on by the City of Kitchener and Downtown Kitchener BIA will feature over 80 vendors and runs from December 7 to 10. Admission is free and the market opens daily at 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

One vendor, Fred of Baron and Haus, has been selling apple fritters at Christkindl since 2011 and encourages everyone to come out.

“The whole idea behind this is to have something in the community that people can come to,” said Fred. “It’s at the front end of December, so that gets everyone into the Christmas spirit.”

Another vendor, Christina Schal of the Berlin 95 food truck, has been coming to Christkindl for the last 10 years. Being born in Germany, she said it is “amazing” to have the Christkindl market in Kitchener.

“I think it warms everybody’s heart,” said Schal. “The moment night comes and the lights turn on, it is so magical that nobody should miss it.”

Some new events this year include a virtual scavenger hunt, a holiday express train as part of the Downtown Kitchener Candyland Experience and free maple taffy on Saturday and Sunday.

The German-themed event was first started Kitchener’s City Hall by founder Tony Bergmeier. Christmas festivals have dated back over 700 years during this time of year in Germany.

The City of Kitchener says over 35,000 visitors from around North American come to visit the festival every year.

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