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Baltimore’s Christmas Village opens with a visit from Christkind and Santa

ChristkindTake the kids to a traditional German holiday celebration this weekend when the Christmas Village opens in Baltimore’s West Shore Park.

The Grand Opening Ceremony of the Christmas Village takes place Sunday, Nov. 30 and features an official visit from the Christkind (the traditional Christmas Angel and bringer of gifts) from Nuremberg, Germany, who will arrive by decorated water taxi. There will be a traditional prologue, a meet and greet with the Christkind and Santa, and an official Christmas tree lighting with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake.

The Christkind (pronounced Kristkint) is a fairy-like being, dressed in a gold and white robe with a crown atop her golden locks. In Germany and other countries throughout the world, the Christkind is the person who brings the Christmas gifts to children. Christmas Village in Baltimore officially partners with the city of Nuremberg to bring the famous figurehead of the Nuremberg Christkind to Baltimore. A panel of judges and the people of Nuremburg elected the Christkind who will be visiting Baltimore this year.

Beginning at 2:15 p.m., the Christkind will sail along the waterfront on the decorated water taxi with holiday music playing, from Harbor East to Harborplace, where she will meet Santa and he will accompany her to Christmas Village’s outdoor area.

The opening ceremony will start at 3 p.m. At 3:20 p.m., the Christkind will officially open the market with her traditional prologue, accompanied by the Hereford High School Choir.

After the opening ceremony, the Christkind will walk around Christmas Village with a basket full of candy greeting guests of all ages. Guests will have the opportunity to take photographs with the Christkind.

At 4:30 p.m., the Christkind will meet Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on stage for the official lighting of the 21-foot Christmas tree placed in the center of the market. A brass ensemble of the Baltimore Youth Symphony Orchestra will accompany the tree lighting.

Running from Nov. 27 to Dec. 24, Christmas Village has outdoor wooden booths with 15 vendors that create the feeling of a true German Christmas Market. Inside a 180 x 60 foot heated festival tent, 40 vendors will sell special holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, and high quality arts and crafts from all over the world.

Christmas Village has a unique atmosphere with the backdrop of an ancient German town in the tent. There are treats such as Bratwurst, Lebkuchen (gingerbread), pretzels, mulled wine, German beer from the Bavarian Beer Garden and beverages.

New attractions added to this year’s market include an Advent Wreath will be situated in front of the entrance to the heated tent and one candle will be lit each Sunday to count down the final four weeks until Christmas arrives. Beginning Dec. 1, one of the twenty-four doors will be opened every day on a German style Advent Calendar and it will reveal surprises for visitors of Christmas Village.

Children can also enjoy a train ride on the new Christmas Village Express and have the opportunity to send letters to the actual Christkind Post Office in Engelskirchen, Germany.

Christmas Village will between the Visitor’s Center and the Maryland Science Center and will be open Nov. 27- Dec. 24, from 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Sun.-Thurs.; and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri. and Sat.. Christmas Even hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Inside the festival tent at the main stage, local choirs, dancers, bands and orchestras will put on festive shows throughout the month. Themed weekday and weekend programs will also be offered.

For more information about Christmas Village in Baltimore, visit  the Christmas Village website.

Photo of the Christkind courtesy of Chritmas Village.

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