An Authentic German Christmas Market in Concordia
Looking for a fun holiday adventure? Saint Paul High School in Concordia is hosting an authentic German Christkindlesmarkt. Dr. Jerrode Marsh, Director of Music at Saint Paul, explains that a Christkindlesmarkt is an outdoor German Christmas market comprised of handmade artisan items that are either used at Christmas or purchased for Christmas. Saint Paul will have vendors on campus featuring woodworking, leatherworks, specialty foods, knitted garments, handmade jewelry, handmade ornaments, custom ceramics, pottery, and more.
But as Dr. Marsh points out, what makes this market unique is the experience and the authenticity. “In addition to that there’s all this food and drink that you go and you buy and enjoy while you are strolling and buying your shopping,” explains Marsh, “I think our calling card for success is the authenticity of the German part of it. Otherwise, we’re just another Christmas market. So we are serving German food, German Christmas specialties, and the layout and the look feel like a German Christmas market...when you walk through you can smell the crepes being made.” In addition to crepes, other German food includes roasted almonds, waffles, mutzen, gingerbread, bratwurst, pretzels, bagged caramel corn, french fries, and more. Plus there are delicious drinks, such as Glühwein and beer.
This is a family friendly event. Children of all ages can find fun things to do, such as processing with the Christkind (a friendly girl dressed like an angel who officially “opens” the market), making candles, decorating gingerbread houses, participating in a scavenger hunt, and more. Plus there are decorated horse-drawn carriage rides. There is no cost to enter the market, and many of the children’s activities are free or just have a small fee.
This is the inaugural year for the Christkindelsmarkt, and as Kent Kunkel, Director of Development at Saint Paul, explains this event is more than excitement of simply hosting a great market. “At Saint Paul we are in constant service to others,” says Kunkel, “and this year with COVID and everything going on, we want to give something back to our community... We want to invite them up onto the campus, walk around and get to know our faculty and staff and students.” And as Dr. Marsh adds, “It’s really very much a service to the community, but it’s also an opportunity for us to share who we are and showing our students in service to the community.”