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BySuzanne Hull

Edward Jones – Ryan Kent, CFP® | 2023 Hut Sponsor

Many thanks to Edward Jones – Ryan Kent, CFP®for his support of Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023. Learn more about Ryan:

I believe in treating our clients with honesty and empathy, which means being transparent about the costs and risks involved with investing. We are honored to partner with you, to explore your possibilities and to create financial strategies that can have a positive impact on your life. Working closely with your CPA, attorney and other professionals, I can help determine the most appropriate long-term financial strategy that is best for you and your family. I am registered in over 30 states and can serve clients nationwide.

I joined Edward Jones in 2011 and became a financial advisor in 2015. Fort Dodge is where I was born and raised. I am incredibly proud to build my business in my hometown. I partnered with my father for the first five years until his retirement. The knowledge and care he provided had a significant impact on my work ethic and client relationships.

Lifelong learning is very important to me. I received my MBA at Iowa State. I’m proud to have earned my CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, AAMS™ and ABFP™ certifications to broaden my education and better serve those who partner with me. In 2022, I was named to the Next-Gen Best-In-State Wealth Advisors by Forbes and SHOOK Research, ranking at #5 in Iowa (Source:, 8/3/2022; SHOOK Research data as of 3/31/22). It has been an honor for my branch team to be recognized for our dedication to service.

My branch office administrators, Terri VanNostrand and Angela Barton, serve our clients with the utmost respect and integrity. I have been blessed with an excellent team. As a team, we strive to provide our clients with the highest level of service possible and help our clients to have every opportunity to achieve your financial goals.

My spouse, Sara, is a psychologist in private practice. She’s a fantastic chef, and we enjoy traveling and cooking together.

Please reach out to me if you would like to partner together. My team and I would be honored to serve you and your family.

BySuzanne Hull

EMC Insurance Companies | 2023 Silver Sponsor

We’re excited to announce EMC Insurance Companies’ support of Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023.

EMC Insurance Companies is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the communities they serve. The EMC Insurance Foundation supports numerous organizations in central Iowa and around the country. Through their philanthropic efforts and team member volunteers, they’re helping create brighter, stronger futures for the communities in which we live and work.

BySuzanne Hull

Christkindlmarket Des Moines Nonprofit Partnership Program (NPP)

Are you looking for a fundraiser for your non-profit? Join us as one of our nonprofit partners at Christkindlmarket Des Moines this year!

Partnership Opportunities

Beverages (4 Points of Sale Available)Brats (1 Point of Sale Available)
Sell Glühwein and KinderpunschGrill, wrap and sell brats from a wooden hut


  1. Create all volunteer schedules and shifts including at least fifteen (15) minutes before the shift begins. Shifts can be as long or as short as you like to fit your schedules.
  2. Fully staff all hours selected with 4 individuals.
  3. Provide overall main contact and all shift leaders cell numbers to CDM Leadership.


  1. Sell product.
  2. General clean-up of space, unboxing product and preparing product to be sold.
  3. Removal of trash and debris to appropriate areas.
  4. Cash management and the taking of electronic payments via POS system (provided).

CDM Management will:

  1. Set up tables and Point of Sale.
  2. Manage stock levels.
  3. Organize product for the next day.
  4. Manage cash and provide change.


Nonprofit partners can choose the following partnership levels and receive the associated donation from the Iowa European Cultural Connection (IECC), the non-profit that produce CDM:

Thursday, November 30 and Friday, December 1, 2023 | $500 donation
Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3, 2023 | $500 donation
Thursday, November 30 – Sunday, December 3, 2023 | $1000 donation

Nonprofit partners will be provided with:

  • A hyperlinked listing on our website as a nonprofit partner with the date, times and location of your volunteering
  • Social media promotion of our partnership
  • Individual blog post announcing/publicizing our partnership

While volunteering the nonprofit may place their tip jar next to the CDM tip jar for cash tips/donations. 100% of the cash tips in the nonprofit’s tip jar revert back to the nonprofit.

Anyone handling alcohol will need to complete online I-PACT (Iowa – Program for Alcohol Compliance) Training. After successfully passing the final test, you will receive a printable certificate of completion. The test takes 45 – 60 minutes to complete and can be completed online at

Please direct questions and interest in our nonprofit partnership program to Suzanne Hull, [email protected] or 515-250-6366

BySuzanne Hull

2023 Call For Vendors

Iowa European Cultural Connection invites you to become a vendor at the 8th Annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines taking place November 30 – December 3, 2023 at Principal Park.

This beloved, community-supported cultural experience attracts approximately 17,500 daily visitors from around the Midwest. (2022 total festival attendance: 70,000). We have now grown to become the second largest festival of our kind in the U.S. based on average daily attendance.

The quality of a traditional Christmas market depends on maintaining a high standard for the vendor products it offers. Christkindlmarket Des Moines is no different. We’re dedicated to immersing visitors in a world of folklore and craftsmanship as well as enticing them with traditional and seasonal culinary specialties.

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.

2023 Vendor Guide

2023 Vendor Application

2023 Electricity Request Form

We are interested in products typically offered at Christkindlmarkets throughout the world, which may include (but are not limited to): decorative fresh wreaths and centerpieces; one-of-a-kind handmade items; holiday ornaments of all colors, materials and sizes; nutcrackers; cuckoo clocks; beer steins; wooden toys; jewelry; wood carvings; pre-packaged 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; tea light holders; Eastern European/Slavic handcrafted gifts, such as nesting dolls and papier-mâché lacquer boxes; lace; leather products; beer and wine glasses; handwoven garments and more.

Vendor Testimonials

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!

Worldly Goods

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

BySuzanne Hull

Duke Rentals | 2023 Platinum Sponsor

We’re pleased to have Duke Rentals as a member of our team as a Platinum Sponsor.

Headquartered in Southwest Iowa, Duke Rentals is locally owned and operated, supplying the Midwest with an extensive fleet of over 9000 machines. Since modest beginnings in 2000, we continually strive to offer the best equipment, at the lowest cost, with the best customer service. Exceeding customer expectations is our goal by constantly improving quality and communications.

We provide industry-leading customer satisfaction through rentals and sales of scissor lifts, boom lifts, telehandlers, industrial forklifts, light and general dirt equipment, and most recently, the WolfLift. By offering a wide range of equipment through 14 convenient locations, we’re able to provide our services to customers in multiple industries, including construction, industrial, and entertainment to name a few. Whether you’re a contractor, a homeowner, or anything in between, we’ve got the equipment you need to get the job done quickly and safely.

BySuzanne Hull

2023 Call for Performers

Iowa European Cultural Connection (IECC) invites you to become a performer at the 8th annual Christkindlmarket Des Moines taking place November 30 – December 3, 2023 at Principal Park.

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, storytellers, brass bands, alpine horn blowers, marionette/puppeteers, Schuhplattler Verein, vocal performances in European languages, harpists, etc.

Yuletide Hall is a four-sided, forced-air heated tent at a location to be determined by the CDM event planning committee at Principal Park’s Main Lot. A lighted stage within the tent will be provided. The size of the stage in 2022 was 16x32x32″ tall.

Our performer guide will give you an overview of the needs assessment process and requirements. As soon as you fill out the needs assessment, it will be reviewed internally.

What is the timeline for the process?

  • Fill out the online needs assessment below by March 1, 2023
  • REQUIRED: Send photographs and links to audio files/videos representing you or your group to [email protected]
  • Receive feedback from CDM staff by March 15, 2023

Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023 Performer Information Guide

Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2023 Performer Needs Assessment

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

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