Christkindle Markt and Hollyfest kick off holiday season in Hagerstown
A shopping experience that reflects the rich culture of Germany and performances that highlight local youth talent awaits the public.
Main Street Hagerstown and The City of Hagerstown will host this year’s first Christkindle Markt, a free German Christmas shopping event that takes place in downtown Hagerstown from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.
Amanda Whitmore, Hagerstown’s downtown coordinator, said Christkindle is a unique event that she hopes will grow over the next years.
“A lot of Christkindles typically are inside and this one we try to stay true to the authenticity that’s over in Germany that’s held outside. The German ones are all month long, which this one is just one day and hopefully this one will grow to be weekend-long event,” Whitmore said.
Upon arrival, participants can stop by the Main Street Hagerstown table and pick up a vendor map.
The guide will include all the restaurants downtown that will offer discounts for lunch or dinner.
Christkindle will feature more than 20 different vendors who will sell artisan homemade gifts or food items.
A kid’s area sponsored by Augustoberfest will require a $5 entrance fee that will give access to storytelling, Christmas craft activities, popcorn, and with a provided wristband free admission into Discovery Station.
Whitmore said Santa will be present all day and carolers will sing throughout the day as well.
Live music provided by students from the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts will mostly play during the afternoon.
“People can also purchase hot-spiced wine that you can walk around the market as you enjoy the warm beverage,” Whitmore said.
She also mentioned that the Christkindle helps maintain the personal ties shared between Hagerstown and Germany.
“Since Hagerstown has a strong German heritage, the organizers of Main Street group thought that having a German Christmas market like this really helps to play up on the German heritage theme that already exists here in Hagerstown,” Whitmore said.
After the Christkindle event, attendees can take part in another free holiday event.
This year’s 28th annual Hollyfest tradition will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at The Maryland Theatre.
Lauren Metz, the city’s planning and outreach coordinator, said that the idea behind the event is to recognize the talent and skills of children from the local area.
“It is really our celebration of the holiday season and its history and we’re highlighting the skills and talents of all our children in our community,” Metz said.
As a sponsorship and collaborative event organized by The City of Hagerstown and The Maryland Theatre, the show is open to the public and also to any organized and accredited dance institution.
Among the groups that will be participating in the Hollyfest include: Ballet and All That Jazz; Seed Dance from Bloom Dance Studio; City Ballet; 24/7 Dance Studio; ACT Up! Aauthentic Community Theater); Barbra Ingram School of Arts Dance Ensemble; and the Robert W. Johnson Community Center Lightning Bugs.
She also said while the event focuses on local youth talent, Hollyfest can also be a way for people to explore the city and discover areas that may be new to them.
“It’s also a great experience to really see the hidden gems that are in Hagerstown,” Metz said.