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City of Kitchener
Experience the best of German Christmas at the Christkindl Market! Since medieval times, the Christmas season has been brought to life in towns and cities across Germany with outdoor markets. They feature handmade ornaments, delectable food and traditional song and dance performances. This tradition was brought to Waterloo Region in 1997, with the establishment of the Christkindl Market located in Kitchener’s City Hall.
Today, this multiple award-winning festival attracts over 40,000 visitors from across North America. Over 95 vendors offer a variety of goods to browse, from food and Christmas décor to special Christmas gifts, clothing, and so much more.
Surround yourself in the rich German heritage; enjoy local singers and dancers, and peruse the many booths that are situated on the first and second floors of Kitchener’s City Hall and outside along King Street.
Christkindl Market also has its own Post Office! Immerse yourself in the age-old tradition of sending Christmas cards to loved ones, then send it on its way stamped with a special Canada Post postmarking by Christkindl Postmaster, Hannelore Maiterth. Children will love Kinder Iglu, where they can enjoy storytelling, entertainment, crafts, and pictures with Christkindl!
See the large Christmas Tree (or Tannenbaum), which is often a spruce or fir tree that is decorated with hundreds of lights in the days before Christmas. This fixture is central to the Christkindl Market celebration and is often donated by members of the community.
Opening ceremonies begin at the Victoria Park Clock Tower near Gaukel and Joseph Streets, then departs for Kitchener City Hall’s Carl Zehr Square. Mary and Joseph lead a candlelit procession where they are welcomed with church bells, trumpets, and much fanfare.
Make this old tradition, a new family tradition, or arrange for a school group, church group, or retirement group visit and let the Christkindl Market help plan your itinerary! Entertainment and admission are always free.