Author Archive Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Dakota Tinworks | #CDM2023 Vendor

Tell us about your business

Founded in 2015, Dakota Tinworks is a family-owned business, specializing in traditional, handmade tinware and tin decorative items. Karl, the tinsmith in the family, uses mostly 19th century tinsmith’s tools in the creation of his tin goods. He trained as a historical tinsmith with Loren Miller at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, Nebraska, and with the late master tinsmith William McMillen at Historic Eastfield Village in New York. He’s also taken an advanced tinsmithing workshop co-taught at Historic Eastfield Village by Steve Delisle, head tinsmith at Colonial Williamsburg.

The work he produces is split between decorative tin items, like Christmas ornaments and tree tinsel/icicles, and authentic reproduction tinware, like pierced tin lanterns and other museum-quality tinware.

While he works mostly in tinplate, he’s also been doing some decorative work in copper.
As an aside, Karl also teaches traditional tinsmithing, most recently at the Museum of Making in Derby, England, in September 2022.

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

We were invited to participate in CDM 2017, 2018, 2019, CDM Curbside in 2020, and again for CDM 2021 and CDM 2022, so we’ve been a part of CDM almost since the beginning. We’ve enjoyed being part of the Christkindlmarket family of vendors and look forward to being at the event every year. People seem to really like the tin goods we produce and sell. We enjoy meeting everyone who stops by our pop-up tents. We’re looking forward to this year’s Christkindlmarket. It’s our most exciting event of the year!

What products will you be selling at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023 and why did you choose them?

As always, our tin ornaments and tree tinsel remain very popular, so we will, of course, have plenty of those on hand. We also plan to offer pierced tin candle shades, with traditional designs, and pierced tin lanterns in two distinct styles. New this year will be some very special reproduction German cookie cutters, based on antique ones from the Erzgebirge region of Germany, along the Czech border. In addition to being a tin-mining region historically, the Erzgebirge are also known for their Christmas festivals. Another new item will be tin frames with Christmas scenes, featuring reproduction vintage images of German Santas and other Christmas-related themes. In addition to the new items, we’ll also have a full range of other tin items for sale, and several different ornaments made with copper, and sheet brass (also new this year). The colored tinsel we introduced at CDM 2021 (and sold again at CDM 2022) was extremely popular, so we’ll be sure to bring plenty more of that for CDM 2023.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Every year, we introduce some new products, so be sure to follow Dakota Tinworks on Facebook, so you’ll be informed of the latest things we’re creating in the workshop. We’re excited to be a part of this wonderful event once again. We hope people look for our red and white striped twin pop-up tents and come by to see a demonstration and check out our range of products! Our tent layout will be a bit different this year, as we are planning on modeling a tent layout we discovered at the Lucrezia-Markt in Regensburg, Bavaria. It’ll allow us to do better displays and make it easier for people to shop for our items.

BySuzanne Hull

Cajun Belle | #CDM2023 Vendor

Tell us about your business

Cajun Belle is a Southeast Texas-cuisine restaurant in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro area. We were founded in 2022 and offer a unique menu available through drive-thru at our storefront location in Johnston, Iowa, as well as catering and on-site event menu options. We provide authentic, fresh, Southeast Texas cuisine to the Central Iowa Metro and surrounding areas. Owner and head-chef Zack Hollier has been cooking this cuisine literally his entire life, he likes to call the Cajun Belle gumbo his ‘childhood in a pot’.

Cajun Belle is also more than just food, we strive to deliver the highest-quality of menu items by making all of the food items on-site daily and from scratch. The dough for the kolaches is literally hand-mixed by team members! We are committed to providing the most authentic and quality food in a convenient way to the bellies of those who seek it. COME ON & EAT Y’ALL!!

What inspired you to get involved as a vendor at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023?

One of my employees recommended the event to me and after looking over it, it seemed like a no-brainier. The reviews from the former vendors is what ultimately made the decision to participate for us.

What products will you be selling at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023 and why did you choose them?

We are happy to provide the most delicious File Gumbo, Jambalaya and Bacon egg & cheese Kolache!

Anything else you’d like to share?

Folks can look for the happy brown fella in the cowboy hat for a meal and a smile!

BySuzanne Hull

CDM 2023 Non-Profit Silent Auction Tree Participation now Open!

August 1st marks the opening of our Silent Auction Christmas Tree Participation Application. We invite Iowa non-profit organizations to fill out our application form to secure one of twelve trees available to decorate and auction at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023. Applications will remain open through September or until all 12 trees have been claimed.

As part of CDM’s community outreach, we encourage local non-profit organizations to decorate a tree that will be displayed through the duration of Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023. As patron’s visit the market and marvel over the creativity of each tree, they are able to bid via a Silent Auction and take home the tree with all the trimmings when the event ends Sunday, December 3rd. All proceeds will go directly back to the participating non-profits.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please follow the link below:

Christkindlmarket Non-Profit Silent Auction Participation Form

Please send any questions to Missy Mootz, CDM Silent Auction Site Leader at [email protected].

* 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

Host Your Holiday Party in Yuletide Hall at Christkindlmarket Des Moines

‘Tis the season for celebrating! Your reserved table in Yuletide Hall (heated entertainment tent) comes with drink tickets and souvenirs.

Reserve an 8-person table in Yuletide Hall at Christkindlmarket Des Moines on Thursday, November 30 OR Sunday, December 3, 2023 and get into the holiday spirit as you enjoy performances by the Jim Kucera Band on Thursday and Metro Brass Quintet/Greater Des Moines Adult Flute Choir on Sunday. Perfect for families, social club outings, corporate holiday parties, volunteer appreciation outings, social hours, etc.

Each ticket comes with the following:

  1. A reserved 8-person table in Yuletide Hall, our heated entertainment tent at Christkindlmarket Des Moines (CDM)
  2. 2 drink tickets PER PERSON that can be used for Glühwein (warm mulled wine), Kinderpunsch (warm mulled cider), craft beer, European beer, or water
  3. A 2023 commemorative Glühwein mug OR 2023 commemorative .5L acrylic stein PER PERSON
  4. A 2023 commemorative pin OR 2023 commemorative ornament PER PERSON

Choose from the following seatings on Thursday, November 30, 2023:

  • 5pm – 7pm
  • 7pm – 9pm

Choose from the following seating on Sunday, December 3, 2023:

  • 11am – 1pm
  • 1pm – 3pm
  • 3pm – 5pm

Early bird pricing per table now through October 1, 2023: $225

Pricing per table after October 1, 2023: $250

Your purchase will support the Iowa European Cultural Connection, the 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit that produces Christkindlmarket Des Moines.

BySuzanne Hull

2023 Christkindlmarket Des Moines Christkind Application

Welcome! We appreciate your interest in applying to be the 2023 Christkind at Christkindlmarket Des Moines (CDM) taking place Nov 30 – Dec 3, 2023 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.


• Application Deadline: October 1, 2023
• Interviews Held: Week of October 7, 2023
• 2023 Christkind Announcement: October 15, 2023

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 2023 Christkind, all of the following criteria must be met:

• Must be at least 16 years of age by December 31, 2023, and no more than 22 years of age before January 5, 2024
• 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 2023 Christkind
5:30pm – 7:30pm, December 1, 2023 | Opening Ceremony
2pm – 4pm, December 2, 2023 | CDM appearance
2pm – 4pm, December 3, 2023 | CDM appearance

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 November 30 – December 3.

“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 and 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 November 30 – December 3, 2023 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.


BySuzanne Hull

Chicago Teahouse | 2023 Annual Hut Sponsor

We’re pleased to have Chicago Teahouse as an Annual Hut Sponsor.

From our location in the heart of the Historic Gold Coast of Chicago we have been able to share our passion with even more people. Our Chicago location has continued to impress for the past fifteen years. Our woman-owned local business was named The Best Tea Shop in Chicago by Chicago Magazine. Customers can trust they are getting the best service from an incredibly knowledgeable staff as our store is managed by a Certified Tea Sommelier, Agnieszka Rapacz. We have been trusted by Top Chefs, Local Country Clubs, Navy Pier, Art Institute of Chicago, Drake Hotel, and the Chicago/Milwaukee/Carmel Christkindlmarkets to provide the perfect tea for any occasion.

Chicago Teahouse is an advocate to promote organic and fair trade tea production. Our tea producers actively encourage development of a caring and sustainable industry that generates income and improves the lives of millions of people. Our producers maintain the highest ethical standards with regard to health, education, nutrition and environmental sustainability with Fair Trade certifications. We cultivate personal relationships with our tea growers and share their commitment to improving the lives of the people who produce our tea products. Our commitment to providing you with exceptional tea is matched by our commitment to the planet and the people who grow our tea.

We are an organization with superior knowledge of, and experience in, the tea market, with a mission to bring truly superlative teas to a growing community of tea lovers around the world and in our own neighborhood. While our company continues to grow, some things do not change. At Chicago Teahouse, our Passion for Tea is at the core of everything we do.

We carry over 200 products including black, green, oolong, white, rooibush, herbal and fruit, and ranging in price from just a few cents per cup all the way up the rarest teas grown exclusively for us by some of the world’s finest estates.

BySuzanne Hull

Hessen Haus | 2023 Bronze and Hut Sponsor

We’re pleased to include Hessen Haus among our family of 2023 sponsors!

The Hessen Haus perfectly recreates the authentic atmosphere of an old-world German bier hall. The imported German biers on tap, authentic German fare on the menu, and traditional bier hall interior create a lively yet cozy atmosphere where large crowds gather to pass the boot and small groups find themselves making new friends.

A combination of a state in west-central Germany and the German word for house, the name Hessen Haus was chosen for its authentic origins and welcoming feel. The state of Hessen which the bier hall is named for plays home to more than six million inhabitants – which are referred to as Hesses if male or Hessins if female. In English, occupants are known as Hessians – a term affectionately applied to our more frequent visitors to the restaurant.

BySuzanne Hull

Siegwerk USA | 2023 Weihnachtswald Sponsor

We’re pleased to announce Siegwerk USA as the Weihnachtswald Sponsor of Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023.

Siegwerk was founded in Siegburg, Germany in 1830 as a retailer of manufactured goods. The company capitalized on its expertise in printing obtained from the “Kattunfabrik”, a fabric print shop, and progressed to become one of the top international manufacturers of printing inks and coatings. Globally, Siegwerk employs over 5,000 people in 30 countries.

Siegwerk plays an important role in packaging, as we use color to bring products to life for our customers. Every day people come across Siegwerk inks no matter where they are, including walking down the grocery aisle where there are many offerings of examples including confectionery packaging, beverage bottles or food pouches.

Des Moines is the home of Siegwerk’s U.S. headquarters and is proud to sponsor this event, as having strong roots from Germany. We love seeing the European culture come to life in our city.

BySuzanne Hull

Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46 | 2023 Hut Sponsor

Many thanks to Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46 for their support of Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023. 

Scandinavians began immigrating to Iowa as early as the 1830s and 1840s where they settled mostly in central and northern Iowa. Eva Nansen Lodge 46 became the first Iowa lodge to bear the name Daughters of Norway on November 5, 2006 with forty-six charter members representing Norway, Denmark, and Sweden ancestries. Membership is available not only to Norwegians, but women with Danish, Swedish, Finnish, and Icelandic connections.

“Daughters of Norway’s Eva Nansen Lodge 46 is proud to continue the legacy of Nordic heritage throughout Iowa with cultural arts, history, and traditions that our ancestors brought to America to share among today’s children and women of all ages,” explained representative, Sandy Hansen. “The Lodge Sisters pride themselves in offering educational and festive events, cultural programs and activities, and social gatherings. Lifelong Nordic friendships have developed while sharing common interests.”