The Kewaunee Christkindlmarkt returns this year with its annual Holiday Parade and the countywide Christmas Stroll
KEWAUNEE – The Kewaunee Area Chamber of Commerce is ready for things to return to normal this holiday season when it holds its 15th annual Christkindlmarkt and Holiday Parade, along with the two-weekend Kewaunee County Christmas Stroll.
The Christmas Stroll, held in conjunction with the Algoma and Luxemburg chambers of commerce, and the parade did take place last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but the German-style craft market that draws vendors and early holiday shoppers from all over to Lakehaven Hall was called off for 2020.
The two-day indoor market is back this year, taking place Nov. 19 and 20, along with the traditional Friday night parade on the streets of downtown Kewaunee and the stroll. Renae Schlies of the Kewaunee chamber said it's important for the chamber to be able to put on the early holiday weekend once again.
"It's big for us. It's really our big event of the year," Schlies said. "It draws a lot of people from the county and a lot of people from outside the county. It draws people to shops and restaurants."
Schlies and chamber president Vicki Vollenweider each said the 33 craft and gift vendors who will display and sell their wares at the market are enthusiastic about its return.
"We have a waiting list of vendors this year, so it'll definitely be a full Lakehaven Hall," Schlies said.
"Everyone is very excited, and the vendors are especially excited we're coming back," Vollenweider said.
Organizers expect large crowds to return to the Christkindlmarkt in 2021
Schlies and Vollenweider both hope and expect the number of visitors to the market to return to previous levels, or exceed them. Schlies said the Friday night post-parade crowd at the market usually is the biggest of the Christkindlmarkt weekend.
"It's always a pretty large crowd, (and) especially after the parade," she said. "You can get your picture with Santa, have a little bit of dinner."
Vollenweider also expects the return of Christkindlmarkt to help attendance at the Christmas Stroll.
During the Christmas Stroll area businesses host shoppers and stamp their "passports" for cash prizes (depending on the number of stamps collected) and gift certificate drawings.
"I know not having (the market) last year, the Christmas Stroll numbers were down a little bit," she said.
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What to know about the Christkindlmarkt
Open from 3 to 9 p.m. Nov. 19 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 20 at Lakehaven Hall, 96 Ellis St., Christkindlmarkt offers visitors the chance to browse and shop for gift items from 33 vendors featuring clothing and accessories, unique ceramic items, homemade foods and more.
For those getting hungry while checking out the items, traditional German food and refreshments will be served by the Kewaunee chamber (one of its board members is a former chef, Schlies said) during market hours Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as a fundraiser for the chamber. Other, non-German foods and refreshments also will be for sale.
The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19, heading from the Kewaunee Elementary School parking lot on Lincoln Street to Third Street, then north to Ellis Street (State 29), then heading east into downtown and ending at Lakehaven Hall.
Santa Claus will not only be in the parade but head to Lakehaven Hall after the parade to meet children and have photos taken with them. He'll return to the market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 20. Holiday activities will be available for the kids as well.
What to know about the Christmas Stroll
The Christmas Stroll is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 19-20 and 26-27, with 23 participating businesses across the county — nine from Kewaunee, six from Algoma and eight from Luxemburg, including a few new shops and different types of shops, Schlies said.
Passports can be downloaded from the Kewaunee chamber website or at the businesses, with drawings for cash prizes ranging from $25 to $200 depending on the number of stamps collected. The businesses also will hold drawings for $25 in-store gift certificates.
For those who get hungry on the stroll, Northbrook Golf and Grill in Luxemburg and Waterfront Bar & Grill and The Bucket, both in Kewaunee, are designated by the chamber as stroll restaurants.
For more information on Christkindlmarkt and the Christmas Stroll, or to download a Christmas Stroll passport, call 920-388-4822 or visit kewaunee.org/christkindlmarkt.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-562-8900 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: The Kewaunee Christkindlmarkt returns this year with its annual Holiday Parade and the countywide Christmas Stroll