What began as an observation of a German tradition – the Christkindle Market – seems to have caught on in Arlington and the Metroplex.
Arlington councilmembers occasionally visit Arlington’s sister city in Germany, Bad Konigchofen.
It was there that they first observed the traditional Christkindl Market (kris-kin-dill).
“It’s an enchanting family market in the tradition of markets held throughout Germany during the Holiday season,” Arlington Councilwoman Sheri Capehart said. “The Market features authentic German food and beverages, entertainment, arts and crafts, and holiday gifts.”
But would that idea work out in Arlington? The city, chamber of commerce and a host of volunteers decided to give it a try last year. It proved to be a major success that exceeded even optimistic hopes.
This year’s Christkindle includes a special appearance by the Christkindl Angel. Also new to this year’s festivities will be a Children’s Lantern Parade as part of the opening ceremonies. Another new addition preceding the market will be a “volksmarch,” or walking event (in Germany these are called “volkssports”).
The market, which is held on the grounds of the Ballpark in Arlington, is the perfect complement to Six Flags Holiday in the Park, the Arlington Holiday Lights Parade and other Spirit of Arlington holiday events.
The Christkindl Market this year will last twice as long as the 2011 version, starting November 29 and running through December 15.The Christkindl Market also added another popular German activity, the Volksmarch (“the people’s walk). The 5K/10K non-competitive walk is Saturday, Dec. 1, and will wind past Cowboys Stadium, the Caelum Moor environmental sculpture, onto the Johnson Creek Trail, through Richard Greene and Robert Cluck linear parks, and several other nearby Arlington sites of interest. The Volksmarch is sanctioned by the American Volkswalk Association and hosted by the Tarrant County Walkers organization.
It starts at the Arlington Visitors’ Center, 1905 E. Randol Mill Rd., southeast of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, at 9:30 a.m., but walkers may start the route any time between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
The walk concludes at 3:30 p.m. at the Christkindl Market. “It’s truly a walk in the park because it’s for sheer enjoyment,” said Arlington City Councilwoman Sheri Capehart, who is a member of the Volksmarch planning committee. “The route takes walkers through several beautiful areas they may not have seen before.”
The Runner of Arlington is the Volksmarch sponsor and will give a special commemorative gift to the first 100 walkers.
Advance registration is not required, and participation is free except for those wishing to obtain a custom-designed, commemorative medal who will pay $6. The event is eligible for credit toward IVV Achievement Awards and those wishing this credit pay a $3 fee.
More information is available on the Tarrant County Walkers website, on the Volksmarch Facebook page or can be downloaded here.
Parking for the Volksmarch is free as is admission to the market which is on the north side of the Ballpark.
The original Christkindl market dates back to the mid-16th century in Nuremberg, Germany.
Christkindl market is now a joint effort by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Experience Arlington (the Convention and Visitors Bureau), and the City of Arlington. For market hours and a complete schedule of events, please visit their website at www.arlingtonchristkindl.com.