Vancouver’s German Christmas Market celebrates 10th anniversary
by Marion Van Driel
This year marks the 10th anniversary of what’s become a favoured Christmas tradition in the Vancouver area. It all takes place at Jack Poole Plaza (at the Olympic Cauldron) until December 24.
“We have come a long way since the very first Vancouver Christmas Market in 2010 at Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Initially, no one believed Vancouverites would attend an outdoor market in the wintertime. However, we persevered and welcomed more than 100,000 guests that first year!” says Malte Kluetz, Founder and CEO of the Vancouver Christmas Market. Since then, attendance has more than doubled, and vendors are continually expanded to include more of the sights, sounds and flavours of a German Christmas Market.
When you enter the market, German culinary specialties abound – bratwurst, pretzels, Glühwein, gulasch, spätzle, schnitzel, sweet and savoury macarons, syrup-filled pancakes, warm roasted chestnuts, and German beer and wine. The market’s selection has expanded to other European delicacies – poffertjes (mini Dutch pancakes) and aebleskiver (Danish pancake balls) – from Two Sweet Elves specialty coffees, plus hot chocolate, and sweet treats from East Van Roasters are just a few of the additional offerings this year from Vancouver’s culinary community.
Food is just one attraction at the market. Gift boutiques offer an extensive array of artisan creations. From cashmere rugs to wooden toys, indigenous artisan blankets to socks, and of course a vast array of Christmas ornaments, there’s something for everyone, including ethical and eco-friendly options.
If you’re looking for a great backdrop for your Christmas cards, try Canada’s first-ever Walk-In Christmas Tree glittering with 36,000 twinkling lights, or the 10th anniversary Christmas mug towering in the market’s center. Live music nightly creates a festive ambience as market-goers stroll down lighted paths and through the maze of booths. Families will be enchanted with free arts and craft activities for the kids at the Kinder Kraft Igloo, the Christmas carousel, a Market-wide treasure hunt and visits by Santa and Market mascots, Holly and Jolly.
Couples will enjoy meandering down Lover’s Lane’s tunnel with twinkling lights and mistletoe. Friends, both platonic and romantic, may choose to place a Vancouver Christmas Market Lock on the Love Lock Installation, symbolizing their relationship.
After strolling through the market, visitors will enjoy relaxing in the cozy heated Alpine Lounge with a hot beverage and delicious food. WunderBar is the perfect spot for a one-hour hideaway with your favourite beverage and a charcuterie or vegan charcuterie platter, and delicious German desserts.
This year, the market has partnered with the Children’s Wish Foundation and Fly Over Canada. To find out more go to vancouverchristmasmarket.com.