Author Archive Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Iowa European Cultural Connection receives Bravo Greater Des Moines Operating Grant

Bravo Greater Des Moines leverages community resources to maximize the impact of arts, culture and heritage to advance regional priorities. A primary way they do this is through their Community Investment programs. Bravo’s grant recipients draw tourists, increase resident satisfaction, help attract and retain talent and generally make Greater Des Moines a premier place to live, work, play and visit.

IECC is pleased to have received a grant for general operating support for the 2023 grant period (GC23) runs January 1 – December 31, 2023.

BySuzanne Hull

Iowa European Cultural Connection (IECC) Receives $7,500 Iowa Tourism Grant

December 26, 2022 (DES MOINES, IA) – The Iowa Tourism Office announced nearly $300,000 in Iowa Tourism Grants to 33 organizations around the state. The program funds tourism-related marketing initiatives, meetings and events that benefit both local economies and the state’s economy with awards ranging from $2,500-10,000 with a 25% cash match.

IECC received a $7,500 grant to fund Christkindlmarket Des Moines Marketing. “We’re pleased to receive funding that will support the creation of promotional videos for Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023,” says Suzanne Hull, Festival Director. “We love Iowa. We recognize that when people visit, they are more likely to stay. Our tourism-related project aligns with IEDA’s marketing campaign because we are showcasing downtown Des Moines and the state from a fresh perspective – that of a drone camera – and sets Iowa’s tourism efforts apart from others.”

“We’re pleased to invest in campaigns that work to change the perception of tourism in Iowa and encourage more people to visit our state,” said Amy Zeigler, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office. “These projects will help us continue the momentum and growth of our industry.”

Visitors spent more than $6.1 billion across Iowa’s economy in 2021, an expansion of 35% over 2020 spending and within 5% of a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels. This direct visitor spending impact generated a total economic impact of $9.4 billion in Iowa, sustained nearly 65,000 jobs and generated $1.0 billion in state and local tax revenues in 2021.

“Tourism is a vital component to Iowa’s economy,” Zeigler said. “The $6.1 billion in visitor spending means nearly $16.7 million was spent daily by our visitors.”

The Iowa Tourism Office, part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, works closely with community partners, attractions and events, to promote the state’s beautifully vast scenery and unique history. Tourism in Iowa generated $1.8 billion in tax revenues in 2021, with more than $1 billion supporting state and local governments, while employing a total of 65,000 people statewide. For more information on everything Iowa has to offer tourists, visit traveliowa.com.

BySuzanne Hull

Children Invited to Participate in Opening Ceremony Procession

Children are an integral component of any Christkindlmarket opening ceremony. Would your child (children) like to follow “Saint Nicholas” through Christkindlmarket Des Moines to participate in the opening ceremony?

Contact Dave Cox at dcox66@gmail.com with questions and interest. We would like at most 25 children to participate.

Children and parents are invited to gather in the Entrance of the venue at 5:40pm on Friday, December 2, (please be on time) to receive a luminary and battery-operated candle. Please return the luminaries to a volunteer at the end of the opening ceremony if your child does not wish to take it home.

BySuzanne Hull

Prairie Meadows Donates $20,000 to the Iowa European Cultural Connection

Betterment Grant will help fund Christkindlmarket Des Moines – an annual holiday tradition

Prairie Meadows recently awarded the Iowa European Cultural Connection (IECC) a Betterment Grant totaling $20,000. The grant will help fund Christkindlmarket Des Moines (CDM). Prairie Meadows is a nonprofit organization dedicated to lessening the burden of government by promoting economic development, jobs, agriculture, and tourism in the state of Iowa.

“We’re pleased to welcome Prairie Meadows as our Presenting Sponsor and hope to continue this community partnership for many years to come”, Suzanne Hull, the Director of Christkindlmarket Des Moines, explains. “For the last seven years, CDM has brought so much joy to the attendees, the surrounding communities and volunteers and we’re pleased to have become an annual family tradition”.

The Betterment Grant will improve the lives of people in central Iowa by enabling the Iowa European Cultural Connection to produce Christkindlmarket Des Moines again this year. The $20,000 grant will allow IECC to offset the costs of electrical distribution and electrical equipment rental to illuminate Principal Park during the festival on December 1 – 4.

“As a nonprofit organization, Prairie Meadows fulfills its purpose by giving back to organizations that support arts and culture, education, economic development, and human services. We are excited to see the impact [insert name of project] will have on our central Iowa community,” said Julie Stewart, Prairie Meadows Vice President of Community Relations.

Visit prairiemeadows.com/community and christkindlmarketdsm.com to learn more about these organizations and the causes they support.

About Prairie Meadows

Prairie Meadows began operations as a nonprofit organization in 1989, with the goal of promoting economic development, jobs, agriculture, and tourism in the state of Iowa. Through taxes, grants, and charitable donations, Prairie Meadows has given $2.1 billion to the state of Iowa. Prairie Meadows offers slot machines, table games, live and simulcast racing, sports wagering, hotel accommodations, entertainment, and more.

About the Iowa European Cultural Connection (IECC)
IECC’s mission is to connect Iowans with European traditions, language learning and cultural experiences. IECC’s signature event is Christkindlmarket Des Moines taking place December 1 – 4, 2022 at Principal Park. Over the past six years, this unique cultural experience has grown to become the second largest festival of its kind in the U.S. based on average daily attendance.

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Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022 Sponsors:

Due to the generous support of the Deb and Paul Hayes charitable fund, along with numerous donors and sponsors, we’re able to offer Christkindlmarket Des Moines free to our community.

Sponsors include:

Prairie Meadows, MidAmerican Energy Company, Bravo Greater Des Moines, The City of Pleasant Hill, EXIT Realty Capital City, Siegwerk USA Inc., Centennial Warehousing Corporation, Choice Creative Solutions, Duke Rentals, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Chicago Teahouse, EMC Insurance Foundation, Lamberti, Gocke & Luetje, P.C., Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber Co., Hessen Haus, Iowa State Bank, NB Golf Cars, TwoTone Creative, The Arlyn & Alice Hesse Family, Blake and Abby Kessler, Edward Jones – Ryan Kent, CFP®, Eisenlauer Real Estate, Greater Iowa Credit Union, Green State Credit Union, Lincoln Savings Bank, The Rasmussen Group, The Härtel Family, M&M Family, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

BySuzanne Hull

Pinicon Farm Crafts | #CDM2022 Vendor

Tell us about your business

Pinicon Farm Crafts is a family business that was started by Jeff and Marlys Sowers to combine Jeff’s love for woodworking with Marlys’ love for basket weaving. For over 40 years they taught classes, attended events, and shared their craftsmanship across the country. Marlys continues to weave Nantucket-style baskets and Nathan Sowers has taken over the woodworking including shaker boxes, topography maps, and dovetail boxes.

What inspired you to get involved as a vendor at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022?

We are great friends with Barry and Larry of Quilted Gardens Nursery who encouraged us to participate last year.

What products will you be selling at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022 and why did you choose them?

Shaker boxes, Nantucket baskets, willow baskets, sweet grass baskets, dovetail boxes, and other handcrafted items. Nantucket baskets and shaker boxes have been the staple of the business since the beginning but our inventory has expanded with new interests throughout the family.

BySuzanne Hull

Pickle Creek Herbs | #CDM2022 Vendor

Tell us about your business

Hello from Pickle Creek Herbs! We are a family farm in Pleasant Plain, Iowa. We create artisan infused olive oils and vinegars, soaps, salves, and balms using the herbs, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, berries, and other fruits that we grow in our gardens. We make everything by hand using our own original recipes. Savor the difference that Iowa-grown makes!

What inspired you to get involved as a vendor at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022?

We have been Christkindlmarket Des Moines vendors for several years. We keep coming back because there’s nothing else quite like it in Iowa. We love the festive ambience, the scrumptious nibbles, the warming Glühwein, and most of all the smiling, happy, cheerful people!

What products will you be selling at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022 and why did you choose them?

We’ll be selling our handmade artisanal products, including our very popular Apple Strudel Balsamic that we created especially for Christkindlmarket Des Moines. We’ll also have lots of holiday gift boxes, baskets, and bags in traditional Christmas colors to help celebrate the season.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Christkindlmarket Des Moines is not just shopping and eating—it’s a unique holiday celebration. Come and let the lights, the music, and the cheer in the air warm you with the Christmas magic you loved as a child!

BySuzanne Hull

Danish Windmill | #CDM2022 Vendor

Tell us about your business

The Danish Windmill is a living history museum and gift shop. Proceeds from our store go towards the preservation of the historic windmill brought over from Denmark to Elk Horn, Iowa in 1976. Our store specializes in authentic Danish and Scandinavian goods including collectibles, décor, food, gifts, and Christmas-themed merchandise. These items are carefully curated to offer visitors and customers a complete, authentic Scandinavian experience.

What inspired you to get involved as a vendor at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022?

We’ve been a part of Christkindlmarket Des Moines for a few years now and expect to enjoy the same unique and festive atmosphere in 2022. While the holiday season is particularly important to our own retail operations, we hold Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022 in high regard as a premium experience and are proud to serve alongside other vendors as an outlet for unique and authentic Scandinavian-themed goods.

What products will you be selling at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022 and why did you choose them?

In keeping with our gift shop’s orientation, we will be selling Scandinavian-themed gifts and Christmas-related items. We believe this merchandise adequately captures the cultural identity of the Danish Windmill and the everyday experiences of our visitors.

BySuzanne Hull

CDM 2022 Silent Auction Tree Participation

As a part of Christkindlmarket Des Moines, we are presenting Iowa nonprofits with a unique fundraising opportunity.

We will have 12 – six to eight foot cut trees* available for decoration that will be displayed outside during the market and sold via a silent auction. The organization that decorates the tree will receive the funds earned from Iowa European Cultural Connection following the event and minimum bids will start at $65.

Individual organizations are responsible for all tree decorations including lights (if you choose to use them). All items used on the tree will be given to the winning bidder. Please make sure decorations are able to withstand the temperamental Iowa weather (snow, sleet, rain, and/or wind). We will do our best to protect what we can, but the trees will remain outside for the duration of Christkindlmarket Des Moines.

Tree decorating will take place before the event on Wednesday, November 30th.

Please use this link to register your nonprofit organization as a participant at the Chistkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction tree decorating. Once you have submitted your form, you will be contacted via email with acceptance status and additional information.

If you have any questions, contact Missy Mootz at mkmootz@gmail.com.

* Cut trees are not perfect and will have a tendency to lean. We will present the trees in the most positive way given our circumstances. Please manage your expectations accordingly.

BySuzanne Hull

#CDM2022 Venue Performers Announced

Friday, December 2, 2022

3:30pm – 4:30pm AND 5pm – 5:30pm: Top Hat Carolers is a local singing group that has performed holiday music for over 25 years. They sing traditional Christmas carols and contemporary holiday tunes dressed in Victorian garb.


Saturday, December 3, 2022

1:30pm – 2pm AND 3pm – 3:30pm: Betruken Messing is the perfect accompaniment to a Christkindlmarket Bier or two. They are a local Des Moines low brass quintet who specializes in holiday music, polkas and polka-ized versions of various music.

BySuzanne Hull

2022 Christkindlmarket Des Moines Christkind Application

Welcome! We appreciate your interest in applying to be the 2022 Christkind at Christkindlmarket Des Moines (CDM) taking place December 1 – 4, 2022 at Principal Park. Please complete this application PRIOR to your interview. You will receive a confirmation email with additional details upon successful application submission. We are pleased to offer a $300 scholarship to this year’s Christkind. Learn more about the Christkind and its history.

IMPORTANT DATES:

• Application Deadline: November 1, 2022
• Interviews Held: Week of November 7, 2022
• 2022 Christkind Announcement: November 15, 2022

Click here to complete this official online application

Note: CDM will provide the costume, wig and accessories; Christkind can wear their own shoes.

To be eligible to be the 2022 Christkind, all of the following criteria must be met:

• Must be at least 16 years of age by December 31, 2022, and no more than 22 years of age before January 5, 2023
• A resident of Iowa (or attending an Iowa-based school/university) able to provide verification of residence and/or enrollment
• A student in high school or enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 units) in any accredited school or college in Iowa
• Possess at least a 2.0 grade point average in both the current and previous years’ course work and able to provide verification
• Available to participate in-person or via video during scheduled interview
• Must be able to memorize and recite opening ceremony proclamation in front of 200 people without visual or auditory aid
• Must enjoy working with others and talking with the public, including children of all ages
• Must be able to provide own transportation to and from appearances
• Available to attend the following functions/appearances as the 2022 Christkind
5:30pm – 7:30pm, December 2, 2022 | Opening Ceremony
2pm – 4pm, December 3, 2022 | CDM appearance
2pm – 4pm, December 4, 2022 | CDM appearance