Des Moines European Heritage Association invites you to become a performer at the 5th Annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines taking place December 3 – 6, 2020 at Principal Park.
In its first four years, this cultural experience has attracted over 145,000 visitors.
If you have applied in the past, but were not accepted, we encourage you to complete an application each year. The programming committee takes several factors into consideration when choosing the slate of performers each year.
Performances typically seen at Christkindlmarkets include (but are not limited to): European folk music players, European folk music singers, yodeling, guitarist, accordionist, clogging, folk dancers, Scottish pipes & drums, high school choirs, children’s choirs, violinists, bell choirs, church choirs, story-tellers, brass bands, alpine horn blowers, marionette/ puppeteer, Schuhplattler Verein, vocal performances in European languages, harpists, etc.
We will provide a four-sided, forced-air heated tent at a location to be determined by the Christkindlmarket Des Moines event planning committee in Principal Park’s Main Lot. A lighted stage within the tent will be provided. The size of the stage in 2019 was 30’ x 16’.
Des Moines European Heritage Association invites you to become a vendor at the 5th Annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines taking place December 3 – 6, 2020 at Principal Park.
In the past four years, this cultural experience has attracted over 145,000 visitors. (50,000 in 2019!)
The quality of a traditional Christmas market depends on maintaining a high standard of the vendor products it offers. Christkindlmarket Des Moines is dedicated to immersing visitors in a world of folklore and craftsmanship as well as enticing them with traditional, seasonal gastronomic specialties to provide an experience filled with European elegance and charm. See Google Images of Christmas markets around the world.
Our vendor guide will give you an overview of the application process and requirements. As soon as you fill out the application, it will be reviewed internally. You will receive feedback by April 1, 2020 at the latest.
If you have applied in the past, but were not accepted, we encourage you to complete an application each year. The vendor committee takes several factors into consideration when choosing the slate of vendors each year. We will continue to add wooden vendor stalls and not all vendors that participated in the past are asked to return which results in openings.
Products typically found at Christkindlmarkets throughout the world, which include (but are not limited to): decorative fresh wreaths and centerpieces; one-of-a-kind handmade items that can be made and demonstrated on site; holiday ornaments of all colors, materials and sizes; nutcrackers; cuckoo clocks; beer steins; wooden toys; jewelry; wood carvings; European sweets and treats; sausages; sauerkraut; potato pancakes; waffles; crepes; stollen; gingerbread; roasted nuts; cakes and pastries; German smokers; candles; wooden nativity scenes; items made from hand-blown glass; clay and ceramic pottery items; tea light holders; Eastern Slavic handcrafted gifts, such as nesting dolls and papier-mâché lacquer boxes; lace; leather products; beer and wine glasses; wooden toys; handwoven garments and more.
Wild Cherry Spoon Co has vended across the Midwest. From popular indie craft markets in Chicago to small first time shows. Christkindl Market Des Moines blew them all away in terms of revenue, participation, crowd size, after show sales, interesting things to see and do at the market, and volunteer support. We would love to be able to attend every subsequent market and word of advice to vendors; plan for your wildest sales expectations and then bring 4x the inventory…it sells out fast!
Tim McGuire, Wild Cherry Spoon
This show for three years has exceeded expectations! A very festive atmosphere, the volunteers were exceptional, and our needs were met by the organizers. Sales were excellent. We have been selling roasted nuts for 16 years and this is our best show. Looking forward to next year. Thanks to those that attended and to the people that put this together.
Greg Lincoln, Top of the Hill Nuts
I’ve been fortunate to sell at both the inaugural 2016 and the 2017 Christkindlmarkets. As a vendor in the Des Moines area, selling at 45 events in 2017, I can tell you this market simply blows away any other show in terms of revenue and after market sales. The hardworking and dedicated organizers have created a festive, well attended, and well organized three-day community event. Selling at the Christkindlmarket is exceedingly profitable and its just plain fun to be part of the Christmas festivities!
Betty Chamness Trost, Three Smooth Stones
We had a great time & experience this year at The Christkindlmarket. We “Curbin Cuisine” were one of the food vendors & had a busy fun weekend. Sales were good, plenty of Joy & Christmas Spirit all weekend from the market! Looking forward for 2018, had a blast!
Jarrod Fontanini, Curbin Cuisine
I was especially impressed with the advertising for Christkindlmarket Des Moines—I think the organizers did a great job of getting the word out through many different avenues. The parking for unloading was easy to get to and convenient to the booth location. The volunteers were very friendly and helpful. The booths made for a great ambience, and we loved the signs! My one reservation about the event was being outside because I am not at all a fan of cold weather, but the heaters in the booths made it comfortable enough, and the crowds were terrific all weekend.
Pickle Creek Herbs
In 2016 we set up at 125+ events around Iowa, and out of all of those events, Christkindlmarket Des Moines was our #1 event for gross sales. When accounting for the time spent at the event (sales/hour) and the cost of the booth (sales/event cost), it was also among our best events of the year (in the top 5). There were other benefits to this market as well. One is that we got to meet a lot of new customers. We’ve been vending at events in Des Moines for about 8 years, and at Christkindlmarket we sold items to people who had never heard of us before. We also could trace several visitors to our web site who clicked on a link to us from the Christkindlmarket web site. I had high hopes for this event, and in terms of both sales and marketing, this event exceeded all my expectations.
Since this was the first year, I’m excited to see how next year goes. I think it started out really well and can only get better, and I am definitely coming back if they will have me! A big thank you to everyone who helped make it happen!!
Pickle Creek Herbs
The first Christkindlmarket Des Moines was one of the most fun and well organized first-time shows we’ve had the pleasure of participating in. We were provided with ample information before the show, so setup was a breeze, and the how cute were the booths?!
It’s always tough to predict how many people will come to a new event, but the people of Des Moines turned out in droves – the event was consistently busy all three days of the show.
So many little touches made for a really great show – the live music kept both customers and vendors in good spirits, even through cold and rainy weather. The food and hot beverages were huge draws to bring in more people along with great local products and holiday atmosphere.
It was a great time to see people just enjoy the start to the holidays, enjoy time with each other and say cheers to just being here in Des Moines.
Overall it was a great event that we hope to participate in for years to come!
Tammy & Adam, The Red Door Press
We are very pleased with the Christkindlmarket. It was very well organized and everyone one was very helpful. They contacted us often to see if we had any needs and fill our requests. I was very happy with the attendance and it ws a very positive atmosphere. Looking forward to next year.
Greg Lincoln, Top of the Hill Nuts
Worldly Goods loved being part of the inaugural Christkindlemarket! The volunteers were fun and professional to work with and did their best to accommodate all situations that came up this first year. We look forward to the future; seeing old friends and meeting new ones as the market continues to grow and expand!
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the first annual Christkindlmarket in Des Moines. The volunteers and staff did a wonderful job of organizing this Christmas Market, and took great care of the vendors. This was a fun, family-friendly event that had something to offer everyone. We look forward to being a part of this cultural experience next year.
Kathleen Gill, Royal Mile
Grand View University provides meeting space for all Des Moines European Heritage Association and Christkindlmarket Des Moines meetings. This has been a great help to our organization. We love and appreciate all of our sponsors, but would like to tell you a little bit more about Grand View University.
Grand View University has public meeting space available. If you would like to schedule an event or meeting, they would be pleased to host you. They have classrooms, meeting rooms, performances areas, and other rooms available for use to support the community and its events when not serving the University’s events.
As well as available space to rent, they have a professional caterer on-site. If your event needs those accommodations, they have an additional form you can fill out to request this service. They also have a new Student Center which allows for expanded dining, performance, and meeting facilities.
If you would like to book their public space directly from this page, here are a few hyperlinks that lead to their facility request forms. We hope you enjoy their public space as much as we do!
Viking Theatre Request (capacity = 204)
Centennial Warehousing Corporation has graciously agreed to continue to donate storage space for our wooden vendor stalls.
After working with a member of the Des Moines Woodworkers Association, we were able to rework the design so when torn down, each stall fits on a double-wide pallet which can be easily moved around the warehouse with the help of a forklift.
We have worked with Waukee High School, Southeast Polk High School and Johnston High School Industrial Arts Students to build our traditional wooden vendor stalls.
As a non-profit, community partners are extremely important. Many thanks to Centennial Warehousing Corporation!
Centennial Warehousing is a full service logistics company. Services range from a full service warehouse, over the road trucking, regional distribution, and freight brokerage. We have our own fleet of semi-trucks and 53 ft. air ride trailers driven by our own professional drivers.
Christkindlmarket is a Cultural Enrichment grant recipient from Bravo! Bravo Greater Des Moines strives to have a community where arts, culture, and heritage is spread across Iowa. You can find their mission, vision, and values on their website.
Bravo Greater Des Moines leverages community resources to maximize impact of arts, culture, and heritage to advance regional priorities. A primary way they do this is through their community investment grantmaking programs. Bravo’s cultural partner grantees draw regional tourism, increase resident satisfaction, help attract and retain talent and generally make Greater Des Moines a premier place to work live and play.
Since 2006, Bravo has awarded 964 grants to more than 100 arts, culture and heritage organizations and programs totaling more than $38 million.
The mission of Bravo Greater Des Moines is to provide reliable funding and support that strengthens arts, culture and heritage organizations serving Greater Des Moines. Bravo Greater Des Moines envisions a community where arts, culture and heritage organizations across central Iowa are recognized and supported as vital contributors to the region’s vibrant quality of life. Some of the values Bravo encourages most in the community is to be collaborative, inclusive, accountable, regional, opportunistic, and passionate. Bravo uses collaboration and inclusion to partner communities with organizations such as Des Moines European Heritage Association. The long-term goal is to have success in Iowa for arts and culture outreach.
The Cultural Enrichment Grant provides operating support to arts, culture, and heritage organizations in Iowa which are three of of the main things Christkindlmarket Des Moines brings to central Iowa! This funding supports investments in growing our community culture and stability. Christkindlmarket Des Moines is happy to receive this grant, and continues to grow our event and outreach!
The Waukee High School International Club is eager to showcase “Deutschland 2020” at this year’s Silent Auction as they work towards funding a trip to Germany in Summer 2020.
Students in the International Club come together to enjoy the German language and culture while educating others and hope to spark an interest in connecting people to other cultures throughout the world.
The summer program arranges for students to stay with a family in Dortmund and go to a German High School to better understand the culture and use their knowledge of the German Language. They will also explore Berlin to continue looking into the theme of the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and engage in the German-American Friendship that has been a constant in Waukee.
“As the year of the German-American Friendship winds down in 2019 and the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall happens, we want to make sure that students of all backgrounds are afforded the opportunity to travel and experience the World first hand,” explains Danielle Taha, Club representative.
The “Deutschland 2020” tree with feature bulbs and ribbons in the colors of the German flag – Black, Red, and Gold (Schwarz, Rot, Gold). These colors are used to celebrate the unity of West and East Germany on the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The soft white lights are meant to shine a beacon for all countries that Democracy will prevail and unite the people. The German culture will also be highlighted using clear and pretzel ornaments to show their love of food and drink that reaches the hearts of all people. This theme also connects in with the Wunderbar Together – Year of the German-American Friendship as different cultures are explored in Waukee.
One hundred percent of the funds will go directly to Waukee Students raising money to attend the Germany Family Stay in Summer 2020. This will enable students the opportunity to continue their German Language and Culture learning in Dortmund and Berlin leading to lifelong learning of German Culture.
For more information on The Waukee High School International Club, visit their website.
Always be prepared…Let us help you plan your visit to Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019.
PARKING – Enjoy FREE surface lot parking in the two lots between SW 2nd and SW 3rd Streets – there are 373 spots.
Twas the Night Before #CDM2019 Preview Experience on Thursday, December 5, 5 – 9pm. Includes free parking, access to the venue and vendors before the festival opens to the public, a commemorative mug and food/drink tickets. GET TICKETS!
Enjoy a 1/4 lb, coarse-ground, German–style pork bratwurst grilled to perfection from our stand, Bratwurst Imbiss am Markt. Usinger‘s produces many kinds of sausages and meats, in many cases using traditional 19th-century recipes provided by its founder, Fred Usinger of Wehen, Germany. The family-owned company, now in it’s fourth generation, continues to live its slogan of providing “America’s Finest Sausage”;
Christkindlmarket Des Moines will be held at Principal Park’s Main Lot in downtown Des Moines (1 Line Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309).
Friday, December 6, 2018: 11am – 9pm
Saturday, December 7, 2018: 11am – 9pm
Sunday, December 8, 2018: 11am – 5pm
Over the last few weeks, we have been introducing you to the 15 non-profit organizations who will be participating in this years’ Christkindlmarket Des Moines Christmas Tree Silent Auction. Below are the names and themes of all 15 trees you can have a chance to take home at the end of CDM 2019.
Item 0101: Military and First Reponders presented by Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes & Drums of Iowa
Decorated with ornaments show casing the different branches of military and first responders
Item 0102: Hearts and Hands presented by Mosaic in Central Iowa
“Christmas will always be as long we stand heart to heart and hand in hand” -Dr. Seuss
Everyone loves Dr Seuss & this is a perfect quote to compliment the values of belonging and connection. The people supported by Mosaic will be partnering with friends of Mosaic (volunteers) to create ornaments using their artwork.
Item 0103: Red White and Blue presented by Veterans in Agriculture
After serving throughout the world, our nation’s military is always happy to return to the Red, White, and Blue. This tree is all decked out in those colors and not only are these decorations for Christmas, but many can be used to celebrate other national holidays, like the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and others
Item 0104: A Gift for the Birds presented by the Pet Project Midwest
Ornaments are made to feed the birds. Place this tree in your yard and watch as the birds feast on a cold winter day. Each ornament in wrapped in cellophane and festive ribbon to protect the ornaments for the duration of the Silent Auction.
Item 0105: A Traditional Danish Christmas presented by The Danish Sisterhood
This tree is decorated with all things to create a traditional Danish Christmas
Item 0106: Julehygge (Christmas “Hygge”) presented by The Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15
“Hygge” is the Danish secret to happy living. This tree is adorned with traditional handmade ornaments. The woven hearts were first made by Hans Christian Andersen in 1860. He also was known for “papirklip” intricate cut out designs made from paper. Straw ornaments and garlands of Danish flags are traditional Christmas tree decorations.
Item 0107: Scottish Heritage presented by the Scottish Heritage Society of Iowa
White lights, tartan ribbon, balls, bells, white Westie Scotty Dogs, and empty mini-whiskey bottles dress up this tree.
Item 0108: French Christmas presented by Alliance Française of Central Iowa
This tree was inspired by the French language and culture
Item 0109: Christmas in Norway presented by Sons of Norway, Marstienen Lodge
The tree is decked out in culturally appropriate decorations of vikings, viking ships, Nisse and Norwegian flags.
Item 0110: Pups at Play presented by Taysia Blue Rescue
Leashes, treat filled ornaments, toys/tennis balls. All these decorations can be used to interact with your dog. Other ornaments include the names of dogs that have been in foster with Taysia Blue rescue in Iowa
Item 0111: Funkel, funkel kleiner Stern (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star) presented by DMEHA Samstagsschule
A tree decorated to the “tune” of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Item 0112: Home for the Pawlidayz presented by Hope Animal Rescue
Warm country chic feel with highlights of our adoptables and showing rescued is our favorite breed
Item 0113: Deutschland 2020 (Germany 2020) presented by Waukee High School International Club
Deutschland 2020 uses bulbs and ribbons in the German flag colors – Black, Red, and Gold (Schwarz, Rot, Gold). The colors celebrate the unity of West and East Germany on the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Soft white lights shine a beacon for all countries that Democracy will prevail and unite the people. Using clear ornaments and pretzels highlight German Culture that brings Joy during the year.
Item 0114: Rockstar/VIP presented by Star Treatments
Children served by Star Treatments are referred to as “VIP” “Rockstar” so this tree will be adorned with Gold/Red Ribbon, Guitar picks, Bass Guitar Strings, Lanyards, Camera’s…and other items that relate to VIP treatment.
Item 0115: Guardian Angels and Scandinavian Gnomes presented by Daughters of Norway, Eva Nansen Lodge 46
This tree is decorated with a variety of Winter Solstice guardian angels and Scandinavian Mythological guardian gnomes that charmingly characterize the Christmas holidays and accented with lights and ornament balls.
Bidding will open Thursday, December 5th at 5pm during our preview party “Twas the Night Before CDM” and will continue through Sunday, December 8th at 3pm. Bidding is available online and via text.
Star Treatments is another new organization decorating a tree at this years’ 4th annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction.
Star Treatments was founded as a non-profit organization by Matt DiRito and is currently celebrating its 5th year as an organization. Their mission is to provide a VIP transportation experience to medical facilities for children receiving ongoing medical care.
“We work with children whom require hospital visits that are not only frequent, but often far away. By providing these children and their families VIP style transportation to and from their medical appointments, we have seen a dramatic effect in the child’s morale surrounding their entire visit,” explains Jamie, a Star Treatments representative. “Not only does it provide a comfortable and exciting experience where parents can comfort their child, but it removes the out of pocket expenses that can drain a traveling family. There are no more concerns of gas prices, vehicle reliability, or whose turn it is to drive- all of the focus is now turned to the child and their healing journey on the road.”
Star Treatments’ focus has always been providing their services, therefore they don’t place much emphasis on promoting the organization. Decorating a tree, allows them to be directly involved in the community and provides a space where Star Treatments can be seen and individuals can be introduced to the organization. Funds from the purchase of this tree will be used to provide VIP transportation to two children from Iowa receiving this service.
Children served by Star Treatments are referred to as “VIP” and “Rockstar” so the tree will be adorned with Gold/Red Ribbon, Guitar picks, Bass Guitar Strings, Lanyards, Camera’s…and other items that relate to VIP treatment.
To bid on this tree, visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines at Principal Park December 6th-8th and the preview event December 5th.
For more information on Star Treatments, visit their website.
Denmark is going to have quite a showing at the 4th annual Christkindlmarket Silent Auction. The Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15 is another new organization this year adding festive Danish flare.
Lodge #15 wants to promote Danish heritage and traditions in the Greater Des Moines area with their visibility at Christkindlmarket Des Moines. They will be using the funds from their tree to assist other charitable causes.
If you are in need a of a live, cut tree that has been lovingly decorated, stop by Christkindlmarket Des Moines and place a bid December 6th-8th with a preview event December 5th.
For more information on the Danish Brotherhood Lodge #15, visit their Facebook page.