Let the Christkindl Shopping Begin!
By Office of Communication
Posted on November 30, 2012, November 30, 2012

Christkindl Market Open Now Through Dec. 15, 2012.

With a puff of fireworks and blessing from an ethereal Christkindl Angel, Arlington launched its second annual German holiday market on Thursday beginning a 17-day run.

The outdoor market, inspired by the Christkindlmarkt in Germany, was created last year and brings an intimate feel of an Old World European village to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

About 60 vendors, some in authentic German wooden huts, will sell hand-made and traditional items like blown-glass vases and ornaments, nutcrackers, clocks, jewelry and toys along with clothing, art, gifts and holiday décor. Authentic German foods like beer, crepes, nuts, cider, bratwurst, sausages, sauerkraut and potato pancakes also round out the experience.

Shoppers strolled through the village on Thursday evening, taking in the ambiance of a slower time.

But while the venue itself feels humble and personal, there is nothing small about the larger pull behind it: officials with the City of Arlington, Experience Arlington and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce said it would help make Arlington a Christmas destination.

"German Christmas markets have a wonderful tradition that people have embraced,' said City Council member Sheri Capehart who helped bring the market to Arlington because she wanted visitors to experience the same authenticity as similar events in Chicago and Germany. "There's just nothing like this in our region and it will be a big draw from the states around us.'

She said typical German markets run for 30 days and next year's market is expected to grow again.

Mayor Robert Cluck said Arlington is known for creating new opportunities through vision and partnership. He said the Christkindl Market is no exception.

"We start small and we get exponentially larger as time goes on,' he said.

This year, officials said they will use the expanded number of days to showcase local musicians and arts groups and feature other German cultural offerings such as a Volksmarch on Saturday and a Children's Lantern Parade on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

Henry Lewczyk, vice president of marketing for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, said the event is creating its own economic impact as vendors and visitors stay and spend money in the city.

Decima Cooper, the public relations director for Experience Arlington, said last year's market-even at four days- created a slight increase in hotel room bookings, a trend expected to continue.

"I would hope that people look at us and say "Arlington knows how to do it right',' she said.

Käthe Wohlfahrt, the Minnestota-based German Christmas retailer, set up shop this year. Lee Herum, the company's retail operations manager, lauded the store's Texas debut.

"We expect to have very little to pack up,' she said.

The market, which runs through Dec. 15, operates daily Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The market's main entrance is at Road to Six Flags and Ballpark Way. Admission and parking are free.

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