This is the Place’s Christkindlmarkt Celebrates German Heritage

Charlotte Wolff, Staff Writer

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Tantalizing food, steaming cups of hot cocoa, and traditional German music are just some of the sights and sounds at This is the Place’s Christkindlmarkt.

Christkindlmarkt is a yearly festival that takes place at This is the Place’s Heritage Park. Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, it’s filled with booth after booth, each housing unique, hand-crafted items. Christkindlmarkt originally started in 2012. Founder Allyson Chard was living in Frankfurt, Germany and wanted to bring back a small piece of her experiences to her hometown of Salt Lake City.  The festival is planned and organized by 25 people, and it is funded by generous community sponsors. It is based on the German story of St. Martin, who stopped a beggar from freezing to death by giving him half of his coat.

One customer, Alee Lawlor, enjoyed the festival because it re-connected her with her German ancestry.

“I have German roots, so it was really cool to see tons of people connecting over their heritage,” Lawlor said.

There are over 20 different food vendors, and over 75 different product vendors, each eager to bring a unique contribution to Christkindlmarkt. Foods sold at Christkindlmarkt range from authentic German foods, such as spaetzle, to traditional American foods such as hamburgers and fries.

“It was really cool to see small, local businesses get together to sell things. I liked the variety in shops and the authenticity of the food,” Lawlor said.

Though traditional German food is an important part of Christkindlmarkt, there is also authentic German music. There is not a time when the stage at Christkindlmarkt isn’t occupied by a colorful performance, usually with traditional German instruments such as bells and accordions. The festival offers 13 different musical artists and groups.

Christkindlmarkt is a annual celebration that provides people with German heritage a way to reconnect with the cultures and traditions of their ancestors. For those who do not have German heritage, Christkindlmarkt is a joyful celebration that helps teach children and adults alike about German culture.