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ByMelissa Mootz

Bright Beginnings Preschool, Ankeny

The Christkindlmarket Silent Auction has twelve Iowa non-profit organizations thrilled to present festive tree creations to our market patrons.

“It’s a Marshmallow World” for Bright Beginnings Preschool as they enjoy a second year of CDM participation. Along with crafting items for their tree, the children will be gearing up for their annual tradition of singing for family members at a Christmas concert.
Bright Beginnings Preschool was opened in 1964 by a church member that saw a need for early childhood education in the Ankeny community. The preschool programs provide opportunities for a child to realize his or her own potential. Each program is specifically structured for the developmental age level of the child enrolled, which encompasses two– five-year-olds. Cooperative planning ensures that the programs complement each other.

Join us at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022 December 1 st – 4 th . Bidding is available via text and online at starting December 1 st at 5pm.

Bright Beginnings Preschool Upcoming Events:

  • November: Little Caesars Pizza Fundraiser
  • December: Community Drive to benefit a local organization

For more information on Bright Beginnings Preschool and upcoming events, please visit their website and Facebook Page.

ByMelissa Mootz

Iowa Genealogical Society

The Christkindlmarket Silent Auction has twelve Iowa non-profit organizations thrilled to present festive tree creations to our market patrons. We have a wonderful mix of returning cheer spreaders and new go-getters to bring all the charm market goers have come to expect from the CDM Silent Tree Auction in the Weihnachtswald.

Returning for a third year, the Iowa Genealogical Society will be “Dashing through the years of Iowa” with their tree. Expect a show-stopper representing everything Iowa including persons, places, and things from all eras of Iowa History.

The Iowa Genealogical Society was founded in 1965 with a mission to foster an interest in genealogy and aid others in researching their family history. Family and community is at the very heart of what the Genealogical Society promotes.

Creating a tree complete with theme, decorations, and creativity has become a fun tradition for all members of IGS. They have also celebrated the holidays as an organization by decorating wreaths and created holiday traditions within their specialized groups.

Join us at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2022 December 1st – 4th. Bidding is available via text and online at starting December 1st at 5pm.

For more information the Iowa Genealogical Society and upcoming events, please visit
their website.

Iowa Genealogical Society Upcoming Events:

  • November 5 th  at 10:30am. The Final Salute by Cris Nagla and Dennis Allen
  • November 10 th  6:30pm Mennonite Class by Renee Cue
  • December 3 rd    at 10:30 am   IGS Welcomes Linda McCann
ByNathan Wagner

New Vendors at Christkindlmarket Des Moines in 2022

Christkindlmarket Des Moines’ volunteer crew is getting excited about this year’s market coming the first weekend of December. This year’s market will have many of the gift and specialty item vendor favorites from prior years, but we’ll also be seeing several new offerings. And a ton of new food options! With all the delicious new food vendors we recommend coming hungry and often throughout the four-day cultural experience to enjoy these menus offered only at Christkindlmarket Des Moines!

New 2022 Food Vendors:

  • Big Mama’s Bistro – Big Mama’s will have traditional German food including Fasnacht, Kohl Und Hackfleisch over potatoes and Kartoffelsuppe!
  • Culinary Nomad DSM – Culinary Nomad DSM features traditional Northern Italian food including porchetta sandwiches, Bolognese arancini, gianduja hot chocolate and ricotta zeppole.
  • FIKA – FIKA, a Swedish word meaning to take a coffee and pastry break. FIKA will have authentic Swedish baked goods and will offer vegan and gluten friendly options. Don’t miss their delicious Swedish Christmas cakes.
  • German Taste – German Taste will offer a traditional German icon, the “Currywurst”.
  • Hot Off The Presses – Hot Off The Presses food truck will offer truffled raclette grilled cheese, Schweinebraten sandwich, Basic Grilled Cheese, Tomato Basil Bisque!
  • Hotsy Totsy – Hotsy Toasty has the fastest, freshest & funnest food truck transformed intoBavarian creations with tots!
  • Sticky Fingers – Sticky Fingers will have crepes of all kinds! Sweet, savory, Mediterranean!
  • Sweet Treats – Sweet Treats will have roasted nuts. Pecans, Almonds, and Cashews glazedwith either Cinnamon or Maple!

New 2022 Craft Vendors:

  • Erin Hill Art Studio – Erin Hill is a local artist that creates one-of-a-kind decorative and functional ceramics. The individually designed pieces are often detailed using the sgraffito process.
  • Good Moon Pottery – Good Moon Pottery has handmade functional ceramic pottery and gifts that are unique to make everyday rituals special.
  • – has custom leather goods including bags, purses, wallets, keychains, home goods, pillows and coasters.

For a full list of this year’s vendors check out the Christkindlmarket Des Moines web site. On the site you’ll
find a demonstration schedule for vendors that are showing how they make their goods at the market.
You’ll also find options to pre-order some custom-made gifts. And of course, you’ll find all the
information/events happening at the festival all weekend!

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 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 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 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.


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

* 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.