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Christkindlmarket Des Moines Prepares For Second Year in Downtown Venue


DES MOINES — The Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) has announced that its 2017 Christkindlmarket Des Moines will be open Dec. 1 to 3 at Cowles Commons in downtown Des Moines. The free event, which drew more than 25,000 visitors last year, will nearly double its offerings in its second year.

“We are thrilled to announce that the second annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines will be bigger and better,” says Suzanne Hull, DMEHA president and founder. “We always believed that people in Iowa and beyond would support and enjoy this type of culturally based holiday event, but the attendance and enthusiasm was incredible.”

The 2017 Christkindlmarket will feature an expanded variety of gift vendors selling their goods from authentic wooden huts made by local high school students. This year’s market will include many more items imported directly from Germany such as steins, nutcrackers, ornaments, holiday foods and candies. From the Midwest, vendors will offer everything from gourmet oils, gingerbread and chocolate to handmade ornaments, clothing, candles and wooden utensils. In addition, attendees will get to see five different artisans create their wares directly. These include a glassblower, a tinsmith, a chainsaw carver, a wreath-maker and a traditional wood carver.

Another major enhancement for 2017 is the market’s enclosed, heated entertainment tent. It will offer marketgoers a great space to sit and watch the musical acts while they enjoy easy access to the wide variety of beer, Glühwein and other beverage options while they eat European-inspired food from one of the curated vendors. Outside, the opening ceremony on Friday evening will feature a children’s procession to help announce the arrival of St. Nikolaus and the Christkind, the traditional Christmas angel from German lore, who will officially open the 2017 Christkindlmarket.

“This year’s Christmas market will help transport our visitors to an old German village without the need for a plane ticket or a passport,” Hull says. “From the smell of Glühwein and roasted nuts in the air to the holiday music wafting from our newly enclosed stage area, time spent with us will create lasting memories for the entire family.”

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The 2017 Christkindlmarket Des Moines will open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2 and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. There is no admission cost.

As always, the DMEHA continues to seek volunteers to assist in all of its year-round activities, as well as the Christkindlmarket. All interested in volunteering or becoming a sponsor should visit the main website at or the group’s Facebook page: ChristkindlmarketDesMoines or on Instagram at: christmasdesmoines or Twitter at: christmasdsm


Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2017 Sponsors: Thanks to the generous support of the Pattie and Jim Cownie Charitable Fund and the Deb and Paul Hayes charitable fund, along with a number of donors and sponsors, we’re able to offer Christkindlmarket Des Moines free to our community. Some of these supporting sponsors include: Modern Woodmen of America, Centennial Warehousing Corporation, Darcy Hines Designs, Gail’s Photography and Designs, Straub Marketing, Merrill Lynch and Grand View University.

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