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BySuzanne Hull

Open Ceremony and Tree Lighting

Join us for the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Opening Ceremony and Tree Lighting. Listen to das Christkind deliver her festive proclamation to open the Christkindlmarket and see the large tree lit. The opening ceremony will begin at 6pm on Friday, December 6 at 6pm.

Joining us to flip the switch this year is Jarred Carter, President of Flexible Packaging at Siegwerk, one of our sponsors.

St. Nicholas will be accompanying das Christkind during the ceremony and they will both make a tour of the venue after the ceremony. Be sure to visit Christkindlmarket Des Moines on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm – 4pm for another chance to see the duo in action.

Children Needed for Opening Ceremony Procession

Children are an integral component of any Christkindlmarket opening ceremony. Would your child (children) like to follow “Das Christkind” through Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019 to the stage where they will watch the opening ceremony?

Contact Dave Cox at with questions and interest. Space is limited.

Participating children and their parents will be provided with the meeting time and location as we get closer to the festival. They will receive a luminary and battery-operated candle. Please return the luminaries and candles to a volunteer at the end of the opening ceremony if the child does not wish to take it home.

Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.


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BySuzanne Hull

Visit European Christmas Markets in 2020 with DMEHA

In the Heart of Europe you will find a wonderful surprise – colorful Christmas Markets just waiting to be explored. The dramatic architecture of Europe’s spectacular cities is the perfect backdrop to the charming stalls that offer traditional items from handmade crafts to tasty foods and unexpected joys.

Join Des Moines European Heritage Association for a tour of European Christmas Markets December 7 – 14, 2020. During this tour, you will enjoy the following:

Prague walking tour and Christmas Markets
Walking tour of Cesky Krumlov and time at the Christmas Markets
Vienna walking tour and Christmas Markets
Schloss Hof tour and Christmas Market
Walking tour of Bratislava and time at the Christmas Markets
Budapest city tour and Christmas Markets

Download the complete brochure
Download the registration form

We hope you can join in the fun. Space is limited, so reserve today!

BySuzanne Hull

Garland for Sale – After Christkindlmarket Des Moines

Help us find a second home for the hundreds of feet of live fraser fir garland used at Christkindlmarket Des Moines.

Receive 10′ of garland for $10. We’ll throw in a box of stringed lights for $5 extra.

Pick up on Sunday, December 8 at 7pm at Principal Park. The specific location will be provided to the purchaser.

Click here to purchase.

BySuzanne Hull

O Tannenbaum! Help Give Our Non-Profit Holiday Trees a Better Home

For 2019, Christkindlmarket Des Moines is excited to be moving to its new home at Principal Park. As part of this move, we want to give our 15 non-profit partners* a better, safer and more weather-proof venue to display the holiday trees they have so thoughtfully decorated for our annual Non-Profit Tree Silent Auction ( 

Click here to give

As a true, outdoor German-style Christmas market, we are at the mercy of the elements to some extent, but we think we have a solution—our first-ever covered Weihnachtswald (Christmas Forest). It would keep both our beautifully decorated evergreens and our marketgoers a bit cozier and more protected from potential weather issues and hopefully help us raise even more money for so many worthwhile causes across Iowa. 

Click here to give

Won’t you please consider helping us create this amazing new place for our non-profit partners to showcase their amazing Tannenbaum Silent Auction from Dec. 5 -8 at Christkindlmarket Des Moines? Danke schön! 

p.s. Have you reserved your limited-edition 2019 Christkindlmarket Des Moines collectible mug yet? It’s not too late. Get yours today before they’re gone.

*These include: Mackenzie Highlanders Pipes & Drums of Iowa, Mosaic in Central Iowa, Veterans In Agriculture, Greater Des Moines Sister City Commission, The Pet Project Midwest, Danish Brotherhood/Danish Sisterhood, Scottish Heritage Society of Iowa, Alliance Francais of Central Iowa, Marstienen Lodge, Sons of Norway, Taysia Blue Rescue, Urban Heights Covenant, DMEHA Samstagsschule, Hope Animal Rescue of Iowa, Waukee School District – International Club

Click here to give

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: Hope Animal Rescue of Iowa

Hope Animal Rescue of Iowa is a new addition to the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Silent Auction. They are excited for market patrons to see their “Home for the Pawlidayz” tree, which will be decorated with a warm, country chic feel and highlight their adoptables.

Providing “Hope” is the main goal of this animal rescue which was founded in June 2014. According to their website, they are “a no-kill rescue whose mission is to rescue, protect, and provide hope as we search for loving homes for stray and neglected animals.”

Bidding on this tree will give Hope Animal Rescue much needed funds to continue providing care for their animals. Ninety percent of all money raised within the organization is used for medical care while the other ten percent is used for food and supplies while forever homes are found.

For more information on Hope Animal Rescue of Iowa, please visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Tree Blog Feature: MacKenzie Highlanders Pipes & Drums

Christkindlmarket Des Moines’ Silent Auction has become a fun and thoughtful tradition over the past three years. Each year, non-profit organizations across Iowa are invited to decorate a tree for display at the market.

MacKenzie Highlanders Pipes & Drums is returning to Christkindlmarket Des Moines’ Silent Auction for the second year in a row. They have chosen a “military and first responders” theme to represent their organization.

“The band was founded by Thomas S Coulson, a distinguished piper, who served during World War II. We are a paramilitary pipe and drum band and our uniforms are steeped in traditional attire worn both on Scottish and American soil.  Our tartan is Ancient Mackenzie,” explains Dawn Baldwin, the organization’s representative.

The MacKenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums represent the Greater Des Moines, Iowa metro area. Their primary mission is to support Active and Reserve Military Units, Law Enforcement Agencies and Fire Departments and regularly perform at the events that support these agencies.

Money earned from the Silent Auction will be used to upkeep uniforms and equipment for the band and to help offset start-up costs for new members.

The Silent Auction bidding will take place during Christkindlmarket Des Moines December 5th– December 8th.

For more information on the MacKenzie Highlanders Pipes and Drums, visit their website.

BySuzanne Hull

Silent Auction Feature

Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019 will be here before we know it, which means it’s time to start meeting our Silent Auction participants. In the coming weeks, we will be introducing you to the organizations who will be beautifying Christkindlmarket Des Moines by decorating trees for bids to further their missions.

Every year, Iowa non-profits are invited to decorate a live cut tree, which adds to Christkindlmarket Des Moines’ festive flare. Each organization receives 100% of the proceeds garnered by their unique tree.  

We will be using text-to-bid and website bidding again this year on The event website will go live and bidding will begin Thursday, December 5th at 5:00 p.m.

We can’t wait to welcome everyone to the fast growing Christkindlmarket Des Moines, and invite you to bid on a piece of the holiday magic!

BySuzanne Hull

#CDM2019 Keg Tapping!

Be one of the first to experience the 2019 Christkindlmarket Des Moines beer developed and masterfully brewed by 515 Brewing Company – “O Tannenbock”.

A handful of 2019 Christkindlmarket Des Moines vendors will be on hand to help usher in the holiday spirit.

During this event, a percentage of O Tannenbock sales will be donated to Des Moines European Heritage Association in support of Christkindlmarket Des Moines.

Confirmed vendors include: Held Companies, Quilted Gardens and Nursery, The Kringle Man and Swede Point Creamery

BySuzanne Hull

An der Weihnachtsecke: At the Christmas Corner

With just nine weeks until Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019, we’d like to help you get prepared for your visit by reminding you of our holiday store called “An der Weihnachtsecke”. In German, this means, “At the Christmas Corner”. In it, we will feature:

Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019 Commemorative Mugs

This year’s commemorative mug will be available for sale an der Weihnachtsecke and at the Glühwein/Kinderpunsch points of sale. Be sure to purchase yours before they run out. You can make a donation of $25/mug before November 28th to guarantee your mug and pick it up at the event.

For this year’s mug design, we again collaborated with German designer Sabine Voigt. She previously worked for Rolling Stone Magazine and continues to design mugs for Christmas markets around the world.

Steinbach Nutcrackers

The history of the Steinbach Nutcracker family starts in 1284 with Erwin Steinbach, a famous architect and master builder who lived in Strasburg, Germany. The Steinbach family settled in Erzgebirge, Germany and worked as silver, iron, tin and nickel miners.

As the supply of metal to be mined dried up, the Steinbach family turned to their other skills to make a living. Most of them had previously worked as woodcarvers, so it only made sense for them to return to carving to create practical use items.

As time went on, they began to master the art of ornamental carving and the women began to hand-paint these decorative creations. Today, the Steinbach family still hand-carves and hand-paints these beautiful nutcracker creations from their own forest from wood cut in their own sawmill.

Steinbach’s high standards and resourcefulness are what have helped make their nutcrackers world famous. The subjects of the Steinbach Nutcrackers are also unique and are taken from art, literature and folklore from all over the world. This, along with their limited production, makes them highly collectible.

Beer Steins and Glassware

From glass to stoneware, from boot to Maß, we’ve got your beer drinking vessels covered. With a variety of price points, you’re sure to find something for the casual drinker or collector in your life. There are also several limited edition pieces available.


Thewalt Steins

Many of the steins sold at Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2019 are original productions from original Thewalt molds. These steins are produced in the same time-honored tradition, entirely made in the Westerwald (“Western Forest”), just a few kilometers from the original Thewalt factory. Several original skilled Thewalt workers are still making these new steins. Established in 1893 and producing steins until 2009, the Thewalt factory earned global recognition with emphasis on unsurpassed quality, using only the best materials and workmanship.




Gerz & Corzelius Steins

These steins were made from molds acquired from the original factory of Paul Werner Corzelius (some of which are over 100 years old!). These steins was made just a few kilometers from the original Gerz Sessenbach and Corzelius Hoehr Grenzhausen factory sites.

European Confections

We will be offering advents calendars, Irish whiskey-filled chocolate, Mozart Kugeln, Asbach brandy-filled chocolate, a variety of marzipan confections, Toblerone, clotted cream fudge, Haribo gummi bears, Lebkuchen, German/Danish/English cookies, stollen, English tea, Lingonberry jam, honey, German mustard, AND MORE!

INGE Glass Ornaments

Inge-Glas of Germany is the oldest Christmas ornament company in the world!! They started in the mid-1850’s in Lauscha, Germany.

Inge’s Christmas Heirloom glass ornaments are the result of 14 generations of glass blowing expertise and a cache of over 6,000 antique and new molds. These German mouth-blown and hand-painted ornaments represent the skill, heart, and effort of over 250 craftsmen employed by Inge-Glas. Inge ornaments are easily recognizable by their trademark STAR CAP.

Christkindlmarket Des Moines Merchandise

We had a great time working with Straub Marketing, to design our Christkindlmarket Des Moines merchandise. We will be offering totes, tumblers, knit caps, beanies, mittens and scarves.

BySuzanne Hull

Volunteer at #CDM2019

Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) invites you to be a part of something great: Christkindlmarket Des Moines. Volunteers are integral to a successful community event. We need your help and we have several volunteer opportunities to choose from whether you’re looking for just yourself or a group. Be sure to include family members, friends and others who could join you to make it more fun!

After your shift, turn in your credential for: a ticket worth 5% off your purchase in “An der Weihnachtsecke”, a ticket for one free Usinger sausage or one free drink ticket. Christkindlmarket Des Moines Tear Down volunteers will receive a pizza supper while tearing down Sunday night. At the end of the weekend, all volunteers will be entered in a drawing. One lucky winner will get to choose either a piece of DMEHA merchandise or imported food.

Sign up here!

NON-PROFITS: If your non-profit signs up and shows up to fill a shift (volunteers need not be directly associated with your non-profit) to serve Glühwein, beer or Usinger sausages, you may put out your own “tip” box for donations for your organization during that shift. Please email with proof of tax-exempt status and the location/date/time of your filled shift.

No-shows can cause great difficulties for the planning and production of Christkindlmarket Des Moines. We ask that you report on time and remain on task for the duration of your shift(s). All volunteers must be at least 16 years old when they report for their volunteer shift. Those dealing with alcohol must be at least 18 years old when they report for their volunteer shift.

Sign up here!

Christkindlmarket Des Moines Setup: Do you have an eye for detail? Work with a team to set up Christmas trees, assemble signage, hang stringed lights, decorate wooden vendor stalls, etc. Some lifting may be required

Sales Associate: For two of our owned and operated locations, operate a point of sale system on an iPad, take cash, stock shelves and interact with customers.

Bratwurst Imbiss am Markt: Grill and serve Usinger brats.

Beer Pourers: Work with the Iowa Beer Bus team to serve beer to attendees.

Glühwein & Kinderpunsch Sales: Serve warm, mulled wine and mulled cider from a tent or in Yuletide Hall to eager attendees.

Christkindlmarket Des Moines Tear Down: Remove Christmas trees, disassemble signage, remove stringed lights, remove decorations from wooden vendor stalls. Some lifting may be required

Parking Attendant: Manage parking for free and fee-based parking lots.

CDM Preview Ticket Takers: At the venue entrance, welcome attendees to ‘Twas the Night Before CDM, our ticketed preview party. Check attendees against guest list, sell tickets via Square and hand out tickets and goodie bags.

CDM Preview Ushers: Welcome VIP attendees into Yuletide Hall for dinner and a show!

KinderKorner: Lead children in European-centric activities. Supplies provided.

Yuletide Hall: Assist the Yuletide Hall site leaders to ensure that performers have arrived, are prepared to take the stage and have what they need to perform.

Non-Profit Trees: Remove ornaments and lights from non-profit trees and help silent auction winners transport these items and possibly the tree to their vehicles.

Information Area: Answer attendee’s questions, provide info about DMEHA, hand out site maps, entertainment schedules, etc.

Vendor Stall Setup: Construct prefabricated wooden vendor stalls. Heavy lifting definitely required

Waste Removal Elves: Empty the waste receptacles into a large roll-off bin.

Volunteer Relations: Greet and check-in volunteers, direct volunteers to assigned areas, and keep Volunteer Headquarters organized.

Sign up here!