Christkindlmarkt kicks off holiday season in Ferdinand

Herald file photo
Hillary Cremeens, a Ferdinand native living in Nashville, Tennessee, portrayed the angel during last year's Christkindlmarkt. 

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

FERDINAND — Thousands of people will flock to Ferdinand this weekend to experience the Olde World during the 22nd annual Christkindlmarkt.

The festival is based off the German tradition of selling Christmas wares and gifts in a festival setting and calls back to the town’s German heritage. Each year, about 200 artisans set up stalls throughout the town to sell a variety of handmade goods, including Christmas decorations, food and crafts. Over the last two decades, Christkindlmarkt has grown into a local favorite and an attraction for tourists from neighboring states that kicks off the holiday season for Dubois County.

“I’ve been told that the size of the town and all the close market sites just give people the Christmas spirit,” said Sara Kunkel, president of Ferdinand Tourism.

This year, the market will be spread throughout town with booths set up at the Ferdinand Community Center, the Tri-County YMCA, Forest Park Junior-Senior High School, Ferdinand Elementary School, the Sisters of St. Benedict Monastery Event Hall and the Ferdinand American Legion. The locations are all within walking distance of each other, but shuttles will also run between the sites.

In addition to the booths, several live performances will take place throughout the weekend, with the opening ceremony Friday night — dubbed Christkindlmarkt Eve — traditionally being the crowd favorite. During the candlelit opening ceremony, which takes place on Monastery Hill at the Sisters of St. Benedict property, an angel emerges from the crypt to a fanfare of trumpeters that chant to herald in the year’s festival. Following the angel’s appearance, the sisters host a German dinner in their cafeteria. The dinner sold out early, Kunkel said.

“We always get a lot of good feedback on the opening ceremony,” she added.

Patrons also always compliment the quality of the goods sold during the market and the overall Olde World, small town atmosphere.

For many patrons, Christkindlmarkt is more than a Christmas shopping spree. It’s also a chance to reconnect with friends and family. Several local families plan their family Thanksgiving gatherings around the market, Kunkel said, and others make an annual visit to the market to kick off their Christmas festivities.

For Kunkel, watching the people interact and catching up with friends she hasn’t seen in a while is the best part of Christkindlmarkt.

“Everybody’s so happy,” she said. “It’s not like your typical Christmas shopping.”

This year’s market kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Friday evening with the opening ceremony. The booths will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday.

 

Schedule of Events

Friday

6:30 p.m. Herald in the Markt on the Monastery Hill at the Monastery Immaculate Conception.

7 p.m. German buffet dinner in the Sisters of St. Benedict dining hall. SOLD OUT.

 

Saturday

9 a.m. Markets open

9 a.m. Black Forest Organ Grinder at the Ferdinand Community Center  

9 a.m. Live musical entertainment at Forest Park Junior-Senior High School gymnasium

10:30 a.m. Reindeer Reserve at the Ferdinand Branch Library

10:30 a.m. Children’s Craft Workshop at the Usborne Books booth at the Forest Park Junior High gym

11 a.m. Live Glockenspiel performance at the Forest Park practice gym

11 a.m. Guided tours of the Monastery Immaculate Conception

11:30 a.m. Children’s Craft Workshop at the Usborne Books booth at the Forest Park Junior High gym

Noon Live Glockenspiel performance at the Forest Park practice gym

12:30 p.m. Children’s Craft Workshop at the Usborne Books booth at the Forest Park Junior High gym

1 p.m. Live Glockenspiel performance at the Forest Park practice gym

1 p.m. Visit with Santa Claus at German American Bank, 1020 Main St.

1:30 p.m. “Holiday Cabaret on Strings” Marionette Theater in the Forest Park auditorium

1:30 p.m. Tours of St. Ferdinand Catholic Church

2:30 p.m. Children’s Craft Workshop at the Usborne Books booth at the Forest Park Junior High gym

3:30 p.m. “Holiday Cabaret on Strings” Marionette Theater in the Forest Park auditorium

7 p.m. “Sounds of the Season” Celebration Singers Concert at St. Ferdinand Church

Dusk Lights on the Grotto on the Monastery Immaculate Conception grounds

 

Sunday

10 a.m. Mass with German hymns at St. Ferdinand Catholic Church, Christ the King Parish

10 a.m. Markets open

10 a.m. Black Forest Organ Grinder at the Ferdinand Community Center

10 a.m. Live musical entertainment at the Forest Park practice gym

11 a.m. Live Glockenspiel performance at the Forest Park practice gym

11:30 a.m. Children’s craft workshop at the Usborne Books booth in the Forest Park junior high gym

11:30 a.m. “Holiday Cabaret on Strings” Marionette Theater in the Forest Park auditorium

Noon Live Glockenspiel performance at the Forest Park practice gym

Noon Tours of the Monastery Immaculate Conception

12:30 p.m. Children’s craft workshop at the Usborne Books booth in the Forest Park junior high gym

1 p.m. Live Glockenspiel performance at the Forest Park practice gym

1:30 p.m. “Holiday Cabaret on Strings” Marionette Theater in the Forest Park auditorium

2:30 p.m. Children’s craft workshop at the Usborne Books booth in the Forest Park junior high gym

Dusk Lights on the Grotto at the Monastery Immaculate Conception




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