Popular German Christmas Village highlights holiday season


— German Christmas Markets are fast becoming the place to be for holiday shoppers and for the third consecutive year, the craft and food market in Baltimore is no exception.

“German Christmas Markets are a long tradition in German inner cities. Holiday gifts are offered and hot food is served to please shoppers,” said Nancy Schmalz, the coordinator of the Christmas Village in Baltimore.

“There are a lot of Christmas Market traditions. German people love going out to their Christmas market to sip mulled wine after work with their colleagues. For a lot of families it’s a tradition to come out for frosted nuts, crepes and bratwursts,” Schmalz said. “It’s a place to enjoy the holidays in a winter setup versus in all-year malls. The unique small shops versus retail chains make an exciting experience and are a great place for high-quality and unique gifts.”

The market experienced great success in Philadelphia where it became known as one of the world’s 10 best holiday markets.The Baltimore market opened at West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor on Thanksgiving Day and will be open until December 27, 2015.

“We are proud of the Christmas Village and our vendors. We hope that the diversity of vendors from Baltimore and around the world resonates with shoppers,” Schmalz said.

“We are proud to have some of Baltimore’s best talent being showcased in the Village, but you can find foods and gifts from around the globe.”

The backdrops for the village provides for stunning views of the Inner Harbor and elaborate Christmas decorations both inside and outside of the tent. There are thousands of glowing lights lining the Christmas Village, reindeer looking out into the water, new Herrnhuter stars illuminating the huts, two giant Christmas trees, painted scenes, an advent wreath and calendar, and more.

“Our goal was to create an authentic German Christmas Market in Baltimore and we hope visitors can enjoy all the details big and small,” Schmalz said.

The experience is accompanied by an array of food from Germany and beyond, including the staples of German eating like Bratwurst with pretzels and sauerkraut, making the village an authentic representation of what goes on overseas.

“In addition to that, our new vendor Kurt’s Delikatessen offers German food specialties like mustards, dumplings or spaetzle. Another German highlight found at Christmas Village is a variety of hot mulled wine which can be enjoyed in our unique collectors’ mugs,” Schmalz said, adding that visitors also have an opportunity to walk through the Kaethe Wohlfahrt tent which sells German ornaments, Schwibbogen and traditional Christmas gifts from Germany.

While the Christmas Village in Philadelphia celebrates its eighth year, in 2014 more than 600,000 people visited and more than 700,000 are expected this year.

In Baltimore, the village has grown into one of the region’s most unique and charming holiday attractions. It is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors in 2015 with more than 50 international and local merchants and artists.

“We are thrilled to be part of Baltimore’s Christmas traditions,” Schmalz said. “We look forward to hosting everyone this year.”

Regular hours for the village are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Village is closed on Christmas Day.

For more information, visit http://www.baltimore-christmas.com.