November 30th, 2012 - December 1st, 2012
You are invited to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Christmas. With a visitt to Black River Falls’ annual Christkindl Festival, you’ll relive a centuries-old tradition.
The Black River Falls Downtown Association is bringing a new level of Christmas charm and Old World traditions to the area. No one knows how to celebrate Christmas like the Germans. It’s thanks to German traditions that we decorate Christmas Trees, hang Christmas Wreaths and put Nutcrackers on mantels. Because of them, we bake Gingerbread men, open Advent Calendars, fill Stockings with treats and put Angels on-top of Christmas Trees.
Since the Middle Ages, German towns have held Christ-child markets, or Christkindlmarkt, in their market squares. The tradition of the Christkindl is known among German-speaking countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and also Czech Republic, Italy, Liechtenstein and even some South American countries. Christkindl is a fairy-like being, dressed in a gold and white robe with a crown atop her golden hair. Depending on region and family tradition, either the Christkind (pronounced Kristkint) or “Der Weihnachtmann” (Father Christmas, also known as Kris Kringle and Santa Claus) will be the bearer of gifts for children on Christmas Eve. Click here for a little history on Christkindl.
During Advent, which runs approximately from our Thanksgiving holiday through Christmas Eve, rustic timber booths draped with fragrant evergreen boughs line the town squares. It is here that vendors and artists sell items such as toys, blown-glass ornaments, and steaming mugs of Glühwein (warm wine) to holiday shoppers. It’s a charming tradition, but a hard one to import to the United States. We have the convenience of Malls, not market squares. But that hasn’t stopped the Black River Falls Downtown Association from creating a new tradition, complete with Father Christmas and Christkindl, the markets namesake.
During our Christkindl Festival, you will enjoy traditional wares, such as unique, quality, hand-crafted gifts at the Christkindlmarkt. Inside the festive heated tent, you will find a heart-warming ambiance filled with the Christmas Spirit as you drift from booth to booth. Take in the joys of the holidays by listening and watching on-stage performances by dancers, theatre groups and local musicians. Click here for a schedule of this year's entertainment. Kindling the magic of Christmas, be sure to see the live reindeer exhibit. In the Spirit of Christmas, there will be many opportunities to give back to the community. Get a head-start on your holiday baking by picking up some homemade sweets from Mrs. Claus’ Cookie Shoppe located at the Christkindlmarkt. Since the festival is located in Downtown Black River Falls this allows you to visit all the unique shops and businesses. Stroll down the streets and vote on a favorite window display. As night-time approaches, witness the beauty of the evening Christkindl Festival parade called the Night of Lights. Imagine how much fun you and your family will have starting off the holiday season with a visit to Black River Falls’ Christkindl Festival.
This exciting, seasonal event celebrating the Old World charms of Christmas with residents of and visitors to Black River Falls, WI kicks off with a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and Coronation event of Christkindl and Father Christmas on the evening of Friday, November 30th, 2012. The Black River Area Chamber of Commerce along with the Black River Falls Downtown Association will select one young lady and one young man from Jackson County who represents the Spirit of Christmas and meets all contestant qualifications. Young ladies and gentlemen between the ages of 14 and 18 will be considered as a contestant.
The Christkindl Festival events continue Saturday morning starting at 9am on December 1st. The Festival takes place from 9am to 9pm.
It is thanks to area community members, businesses and organizations that an event of this magnitude is possible. If you are interested in taking part in this unique event, please contact the Christkindl Festival Committee. Applications are now being accepted for Christkindlmarkt merchandise vendors, food vendors, contestants for Christkindl and Father Christmas, parade float entries, and entertainment groups.
The Christkindl Festival Committee for 2012:
Deanna Lisota : The Consignment Shop, Dana Iverson: Black River Country Bank, Barb Brower, Amanda Gunn, and Mary Mack: Black River Area Chamber of Commerce, Melissa Lechner: Jackson County Bank, Marilyn Reinhart and Barb Simonis: Coldwell Banker, Chuck Nibbe: Co-op Credit Union, Keith Brown and Tom Tomter: Farm Urban, Joe Williams: Buzz & Brew Shop, Jill Borreson: Dale's Refrigeration, Jim Weisender: Sand Creek Brewing Company, Lyall White: Smiley Bear Design, Judi Lowe, Grady Gutknecht, Lee Goehring and Joan Hanson.