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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Christkindlmarket comes to Fiserv Forum for first time

Photo by courtesy of Christkindlmarket
Milwaukee Pretzel Company is one of several vendors that will participate in this year’s Christkindlmarket.

The Christkindlmarket will make its debut in Milwaukee at Fiserv Forum from this Saturday through Dec. 31. The traditional outdoor German holiday market will be filled with holiday food, drinks, collectibles and gifts.

German American Events, LLC is hosting Milwaukee’s first Christkindlmarket. The company already puts on annual markets in Chicago and Naperville, Illinois. According to their website, German American Events were inspired by the historic Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremburg, Germany, that began in 1545.

Vendors like the Milwaukee Pretzel Company have shown excitement for the upcoming event. Marquette alum, Matt Wessel, who owns Milwaukee Pretzel Company with his wife and fellow alum Katie Wessel, said he is especially happy to be a part of German American Events’ first market in Milwaukee.

Wessel and his wife have been vendors at the Naperville for the past two years and were always impressed with the festival.

“Having lived in Germany and having experienced European Christmas markets in person, we can assure everyone that (German American Events) does a phenomenal job putting on a German holiday market,” Wessel said. “From the vendors to the booths to the lighting to the food and drinks, it’s all what we remember from our time overseas.”

Wessel said that German American Events does a phenomenal job organizing the holiday market and pays great attention to the details that make the market authentic.

Milwaukee Pretzel Company produces authentic handmade German Bavarian pretzels. Their website describes Bavarian pretzels as being denser on the inside and crispier on the outside compared to standard American soft pretzel, and having a more tangy taste. The pretzels have already proved to be a hit at the Naperville Christkindlmarket, Wessel said. He said he thinks they’ll be popular at this year’s Milwaukee festival, especially since they are made right here in the city.

“(The market is) the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. There’s something magical about spending an hour or two walking through an open-air market, looking at holiday decorations, buying gifts, sipping hot wine or cider and being with loved ones,” Wessel said. “It’s a wonderful experience and something that all can enjoy.”

Steve Thoreson, vice president of North America Operations at Kathe Wohlfahrt of America, said he thinks the Milwaukee Chriskindlmarket will be a very successful event, since the Milwaukee community has a strong German heritage, with 38 percent of Milwaukee residents reporting they have German ancestry, according to Discover Milwaukee. 

Kathe Wohlfahrt, a company that sells handmade German Christmas items in the United States, has been involved with Christkindlmarket Chicago and Naperville for many years, Thoreson said. 

Kathe Wohlfahrt has been preserving and supporting German craftsmanship since 1977 through their website, store in Stillwater, Minnesota and nine Christmas Markets across North America said Thoreson.

Thoreson said he encourages people to come to the market to experience a traditional German Christmas right in the heart of Milwaukee. 

Pete Benson owns A Spice Above, a family-owned business located in the Chicago area that sells seasonings, dips, dressings, spreads, rubs and more. A Spice Above has never been a part of the Chicago Christkindlmarket, but Benson said he hopes that the Milwaukee one will be similar. 

Benson said he hopes many people will come to experience products sold by A Spice Above.

“My product fits with most events because it’s a product everybody can afford,” Benson said. “(The market is) definitely worth it to come for Christmas shopping and to get out of the house.”


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