Arts & Entertainment News

Christkindlmarkt Returns to this Popular Cincinnati Landmark

CKM 2014 Dates_locationsStill missing German traditions after Oktoberfest? Want some energy and warmth in the freezing cold? The Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt -Cincinnati’s premier holiday event- kicked off the holiday season this past weekend.

First held in 2012, this is the third year for the holiday market, which is a German tradition that dates back centuries at Europe. But only just began in Cincinnati in 1988 when the Germania Society introduced the city’s first German-style Christmas market.

“One of my favorite memories from living in Augsburg, Germany was heading to the Christkindlmarkt after work for a cup of warm, spiced wine,” explained vice president and co-founder Linda McAlister. “After I founded Cincideutsch with Peter and Olaf, I wanted to bring these fond memories to life here in Cincinnati.”

Christkindlmarkt literally translates from the German language to “Christ Child Market.” These markets originated in Germany and Austria and are now held all over the world. They typically occur in town squares where vendors sell sweets, warm drinks, and seasonal decorations for the holidays.

In Cincinnati the event is once again being held at Fountain Square, where wooden booths have been erected for vendors to sell a range of items for gift-giving, decorating, eating and drinking. While walking through it, you can sense the rich German culture by tasting tradition holiday sweets, sampling a piece of European baked goods, bringing home some handcrafted gift or seasonal decoration, or by warding off the cold with a warm cup of Glühwein.

Cincinnati’s Christkindlmarkt will be complimented by live music, sparkling lights and ice skating. Live entertainment will be scheduled each day in hope to satisfy the more than 15,000 expected visitors.

Like last year, the market celebrated its opening on Thanksgiving weekend at Fountain Square in conjunction with Macy’s Light Up the Square and Downtown Dazzle, which features the annual lighting of the holiday tree and draws thousands of people from across the region.

It was a success last year with the following weekends moving to Findlay Market, this year, in order to seeking for expansions, Cincideutsch had hoped to move to the Schmidlapp Event Lawn at Smale Riverfront Park for the second two weekends because it’s an up-and-coming area and there are plans for even more expansion.

“If we want to make the market bigger, it would be a good place.  But, we were informed that some drainage issues needed to be taken care of ASAP, so Fountain Square and 3CDC have been great in allowing us to stay on the Square for the entire time.” Linda told UrbanCincy, “We’re also lucky to be sponsored by some great local companies, including American Modern Insurance Group, Christian Moerlein Brewery, Ruthman Companies, Siemens, and UBS.”

The Christkindlmarkt opened at Fountain Square for the Thanksgiving weekend (November 28-30) but continues for the following two weekends (December 5-7 and 12-14). Fountain Square is easily accessed by Metro buses from nearby Government Square. There is also a RedBike station on the square for bike share access.

Arts & Entertainment News

Light Up OTR to kick off new holiday tradition

Traditions like the Duke Energy Train Display, ice skating on Fountain Square, and the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights remind us that the holiday season is upon us in Cincinnati.  And soon, the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood will have a holiday tradition of its own.

“Light Up Over-the-Rhine” takes place this Friday, December 10.  Beginning at 8 p.m., teams of volunteers will walk throughout the neighborhood, placing luminaries along its major streets.  A total of 943 luminaries will be placed, representing the number of historic buildings in Over-the-Rhine.  Event organizers hope to create a warm glow that will “symbolize safety, the coming of the holiday season, and unity.”

At 10 p.m., a lighting will take place for the first annual OTR Christmas tree, located in the courtyard of Neon’s Unplugged.  Guests will be able to affix an ornament to the tree for a $2 donation to the Over-the-Rhine Foundation.  Throughout the evening, Neon’s will be serving craft cocktails created by mixoligist Molly Wellman and offering a variety of drink specials.

Anyone interested in helping to assemble and disperse the luminaries should meet at Neon’s at 6 p.m.  With the support of people from the neighborhood and the city, Light Up OTR will hopefully be a success and become another great holiday tradition for Cincinnati.

You can RSVP for Light Up Over-the-Rhine on Facebook.