Inspired by a centuries-old European tradition, Prescott is adding a new annual holiday event featuring unique gifts, live music, German cuisine, Santa and more. The first-ever Christmas Village & ChristkindlMarket will be held Dec. 16 – 18 on W. Goodwin St. in front of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce in downtown Prescott.

“We applied for a grant with the Visit Arizona Initiative,” said Sheri Heiney, president of the Prescott Chamber of Commerce. “Because we’re Ariz.’s Christmas City, we felt there should be an event each weekend building up to the Bootdrop.” <br />

Admission to the event is free to attend with a fee charged for luxury carriage rides and additional children’s activities. The ChristkindlMarket will have hand-crafted ornaments and other unusual gift items from local artisans and vendors. Kids can visit Santa (Saint Nikolaus), ride the kids carousel, kids ferris wheel, bounce house and the Kinder Korner activities tent.

Santa will be there to meet with the children, plus he will do storytelling and special performances. There will also be a traditional children’s lantern parade each night. Wagon rides aglow with lights and led by Clydesdale Horses will be available for rides around a Courthouse Plaza. There will be a variety of traditional German foods, as well as The Bier &amp; Mulled Wine Garten.

“The Christmas Village &amp; Christkindl Market will be a wonderful new holiday tradition for Prescott,” said Heiney. “We invite families and friends to come enjoy all that Ariz.’s Christmas City has to offer.”

The event will also feature a traditional German band, the Christkind Angel, plus an aerialist performing acrobatics, and choirs from local schools.

Nichole Perlberg as the Christkind (a fairy princess-like character), will be the MC for the entire weekend. Perlberg will open each day and announce entertainment and other information throughout the three-day event.

The Christkind, the namesake of the Christkindlmarket, is traditionally dressed in gold and white robes with a crown upon her golden locks. Christkind folklore dates back to the 1500s and stems from traditional customs. Since then, and still today, she is the bearer of gifts to most children in German-speaking countries, much like Santa Claus is in the U.S.

The Christkindlmarket unites cherished German and European traditions with international flair and local charm. Inspired by the sixteenth century Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, one of the first outdoor markets of its kind, the Christkindlmarket is well-known for its vendors’ high-quality gifts and food, holiday cheer, and for being the ideal place for families to make unique memories.

Event Schedule

Christmas Village &amp; ChristkindlMarket is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18.

Entertainment Schedule

Friday, Dec. 16

4 – 5 p.m. – Opening Ceremony performed by PHS Chamber Singers – Main Stage

5 – 6 p.m. – Roaming Musicians and Aerialist Jen Martin – Main Stage

6 – 8 p.m. – George Staheli Oompah German Band to Play – Beer Tent

Saturday, Dec. 17

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Opening Ceremony with the Cosmic Gumbo Singers Jazz Trio– Main Stage

12 – 1 p.m. – Arizona Philharmonic &amp; Aerialist Jen Martin performing – Main Stage

1 – 2 p.m. – Story Telling with Santa – Main Stage

2 – 3 p.m. – Roaming Musicians with Meg Bohrman and Ines Vitols,

3 – 4 p.m. –George Staheli Oompah German Band to Play – Main Stage

4 – 6 p.m. – Neese Family Entertainment – Main Stage

6 – 8 p.m. – German Band – Beer Tent

Sunday, Dec. 18

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Neese Family Entertainment – Main Stage

12 – 1:30 p.m. – George Staheli Oompah German Band to Play – Main Stage

2 – 3 p.m. – The Rockin Santa Band

Santa Hours – in the Kinder Korner Tent

Santa will be available to visit and take pictures for the following hours. Desert Financial Credit Union will be present with the kids’ craft area along with characters and an Aerial Performer.

Friday, Dec. 16, from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 18, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Broken Spoke Clydesdales Luxury Carriage rides hours

Carriage Rides are $5 per adult, kids ride free up to age 13 accompanied by a paying adult.

Friday, Dec. 16, from 4 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 18, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Kinder Lantern Parade hours

All the children are welcome to join Christkind as she leads the festival lantern parade around the market.

Friday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.

Mini Carousel and Mini Ferris Wheel ride and Snowman Disco Dome bounce house

kids’ activities are $5 per child over 2 years old for an all-day pass.

Learn more about this and other holiday events at www.ArizonaChristmasCity.com or www.Prescott.org. For details about the activities, and a list of vendors, visit www.prescott.org/prescotts-christmas-village–christkindlmarket.html

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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