Ferdinand Christkindlmarkt to kick off holiday season

By CHRISTINE STEPHENSON
cstephenson@dcherald.com

FERDINAND— The Ferdinand Christkindlmarkt, where thousands will flock to eat, shop and listen to live music, is returning this weekend.

The festival, which dates back to 14th century Germany, carries on the tradition of selling Christmas wares and gifts. Over the past two decades, the Christkindlmarkt has gained popularity and now attracts thousands of visitors as part of the Olde World Christmas program promoted by the Ferdinand Tourism and Dubois County Visitors Center.

Many years ago, artisans would display their wares in the local churchyard in the weeks before Christmas — now, instead of booths in the churchyard, the markt sites will be located indoors and outdoors throughout town.

The six markt locations include the Ferdinand Community Center, the Tri-County YMCA, Forest Park High School, the Ferdinand American Legion, Ferdinand Elementary and the Monastery Event Hall.

The booths will showcase the works of wood carvers, basket weavers, chocolatiers, candle makers, bakers and other artists. And, of course, there will be plenty of regional foods and wines, antiques and Christmas decorations such as nutcrackers and ornaments.

In addition, there will be free musical entertainment at Forest Park, including live glockenspiel performances and a marionette theater. The St. Ferdinand Church will also host evening entertainment Saturday with a seasonal concert from the Evansville Philharmonic. There will also be free tours of the Monastery Immaculate Conception and a Sunday mass with German hymns at the St. Ferdinand Church.

All six markt sites will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no admission charge. The Christkindl herself will appear Friday at the markt’s annual opening ceremonies.

Schedule of events

Friday

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

Saturday

9 a.m. Markets open

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

10 a.m. Free guided tours of Monastery Immaculate Conception

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

11 a.m. Reindeer Reserve Meet n’ Greet

11 a.m. Live glockenspiel performances at the Forest Park High School auditorium

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

12:15 p.m. “Holiday Cabaret on Strings” Marionette Theater in the Forest Park High School auditorium

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

1 p.m. Visit with Santa Claus at the German American Bank

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

2:30 p.m. Children’s craft workshops 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 High School auditorium

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

11 a.m. Live glockenspiel performances at the Forest Park High School auditorium

11 a.m. Reindeer Reserve Meet n’ Greet

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

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

Noon Live glockenspiel performances at the Forest Park High School auditorium

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

12:30 p.m. Free tours of the Monastery Immaculate Conception

1 p.m. Children’s craft workshops at the Usborne Books booth at the Forest Park Junior High gym

1 p.m. Live glockenspiel performances at the Forest Park High School auditorium

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

Dusk Lights on the Grotto at the Monastery Immaculate Conception