Saturday, December 2, 2017

Christkindl Market, Kitchener’s Other German Festival – Media Coverage

Many of you are very familiar with the annual Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest German Festival, but did you know we have a second German Festival that happens during the Christmas season?

This year the Christkindl Market, known as Canada’s Original Festival of German Christmas, makes its return for the 21st year at Kitchener Ontario’s City Hall from December 7 to 10, 2017

We were invited to this year’s Christkindl Market Media Event and learned quite a bit about the origin of the festival and what can be expected at this year’s event.

Christkindl Market Orgins

Communities in Germany have been celebrating the Christmas season for over 700 years with Christmas Markets.  In 1996 the tradition was brought to Canada and has been celebrated at Kitchener’s City Hall ever since.  Each year over 40,000 visitors attend the annual Christkindl Market to enjoy food, drink, shopping and entertainment all with a German twist (or should we say pretzel twist, as you can get those there too).

While the video above has last year's dates, it gives you a good overview of what you can expect to see while you are there.

What You Need to Know About Christkindl Market

1.       While the Christkindl Market happens at the Kitchener City Hall, the celebrations begin in VICTORIA PARK

Victoria Park’s Clock Tower (near the bus station entrance to the park) is the starting point for the Candlelight Procession that begins at 5:45pm on Thursday December 2, 2017.  From there everyone will join a sing-a-long candlelight walk with Nativity Scene actors and animals to City Hall in time for the official opening ceremonies.

Depart from the clock tower in Victoria Park, proceed along Gaukel Street to Kitchener City Hall, Civic Square. Mary, Joseph and the donkey lead the candlelight procession to Kitchener's Carl Zehr Square where fanfares, church bells and trumpets welcome their arrival to the nativity.

2.       Free Entertainment

There will be an abundance of Free entertainment throughout the festival.  Everything from live bands, choirs and dancing on stage to indoor kids’ workshops, storytelling and puppet shows.  There will even be horse drawn carriage rides that will give you can take part in for free. PLEASE NOTE all of these events (and more) take place at various dates and times. Visit to see the full entertainment schedule.

3.       Shop Until You Drop

While there is a lot to see and do for Free at the Christkindl Market, we suggest you have cash on hand for shopping and food purchases.  You might get all your holiday shopping done at the festival and then you can skip the mall this year! Plus once the delectable delights hit your senses, you won’t want to resist having a treat or two while wondering the grounds.

4.       They Have Their Own Post Office. Bring Your Letters To Santa!

If your mail is going to friends and family, drop your stamped mail into our mailbox and our own Christkindl Postmaster, “Hannelore Maiterth,” will add Canada Post's official Christkindl Market postmarking "cancel." 

Hey kids, if your mail is addressed to Santa Claus - North Pole, it doesn't need a stamp! Simply address it to "Santa Claus at  Ho, Ho, Ho!"

Since 1997, Hannelore has postmarked over 25,000 envelopes and postcards! 

Philatelics and hobby postmark collectors, you'll be excited to know that our 2017 postmark features an all NEW postmarking in celebration of Canada 150!

I myself didn’t know what a “cancel” meant and had to look it up. So, to save you a step in figuring it out, it means that it has been postmarked!

5.       Bring Your Skates

Weather permitting the outdoor skating rink at Carl Zehr Square will be open so bring your skates and with the on stage music you will feel like you are at your own ice skating show.

6.       Don’t Forget to Take Pictures

The Christkindl, Angels, Knecht Ruprecht, Klaus the Organ Grinder and a live Nativity can be spotted throughout the festival grounds for wonderful photo opportunities and picture memories.  Also, there is huge Christmas Tree, the indoor crafters and outdoor food huts that are all “instagram worthy”

7.       Visit Off Peak Hours If You Are Able or Be Part of The Energetic Crowd If That Is More Your "Style"

The Christkindl Market can be very busy in the evenings and weekends so for those with little ones or accessibility issues, I suggest visiting the festival during the weekdays.  If you enjoy being part of an energetic group then arrive in the evenings or weekends to be part of the fun.
Because this event takes place both INDOORS and OUTDOORS we suggest dressing in layers. Think of it as "winter style" fashion.

Thursday, December 7, 2017 
10 am – 9 pm (Official Opening, 6 pm)
Friday, December 8, 2017   
10 am – 9 pm
Saturday, December 9, 2017    
  9 am – 9 pm
Sunday, December 10, 2017
10 am – 4 pm (Official Closing and Draw, 4 pm)

We think you will have a wonderful time at Kitchener’s other German Festival! Bring your family and friends to the Christkindl Market and start your own yearly tradition!

 For more information visit

 Have you been the Christkindl Market or plan to go? Tell us all about it in the comments!


  1. I would love to attend! How awesome for anyone of German ascent to celebrate or a non German to enjoy the different cultural activities. My grandchildren would enjoy it too.

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