Get Ready for a Taste of Germany: Winter Markt Set for This Weekend
The second annual Winter Markt brings the taste and feel of an authentic German market to Shain Park this weekend.
Be prepared for plenty of evergreens, mulled wine, specialty crafts and plenty of "Gemütlichkeit" (German for "coziness" or "hospitality") this weekend, as the second annual Winter Markt prepares to take over Shain Park.
Heading downtown for the Markt but don't know where to go, or what to look for? Here's what you need to know before you go:
- Where: Shain Park and the surrounding streets, including Merrill and Martin Street
- When: 3-9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
- History: The Markt was conceived by two Birmingham residents Birgit Strasser and Angelika Reiner, both of who were born and raised in Germany. The pair received permission to start the Markt with the Principal Shopping District in November 2010.
- Parking: Parking is free for the first two hours in any of the city's parking garages, including the nearby Pierce Street Garage and Chester Street Garage. After that, parking is $1 an hour. Parking, both on the street and in the garages, is free on Sundays.
Start your holiday shopping
The event is put on by the Birmingham Principal Shopping District (PSD), which hopes the combination of the Winter Markt's centralized downtown location and the dozens of Birmingham merchants with tents there will boost the city's holiday shopping traffic.
According to John Heiney, executive director of the PSD, there will be 50 vendors at this year's fair, up from 30 last year. Heiney said there will continue to be a variety of items for sale at the Markt, from Christmas ornaments and decorations, to artwork and handmade wooden toys.
In addition, Heiney said there will be plenty of familiar faces from the Birmingham Farmers Market, many of whom will be on site selling Christmas trees, wreaths and other evergreen decorations.
Take in a taste of Germany
According to Heiney, the most popular item from last year's Winter Markt is coming back this year: the Children Leukemia Foundation's spiced wine.
The Children's Leukemia Foundation will again set up near The Community House selling the crowd favorite along with a variety of hot drinks. In addition, Plum Market will be on site with a large food tent. What's on the menu? Be prepared for some German favorites such as hot pretzels and streusal. Meanwhile Birmingham merchants, such as Starbucks and Biggby Coffee, will also be selling coffee and other hot drinks.
Be prepared to be entertained
In addition to the stage at the south end of the park, a large stage will also be erected near the Shain Park fountain this year, with various musical groups scheduled to perform all weekend long, including:
- Greenfield Elementary Honors Choir
- Beverly Elementary Honors Choir
- Eric Neubaurer Brass Quartet
- West Maple Elementary Honors Choir
- Birmingham Brass Quintet
- Twelfth Night Singers
- Apostolic Church Sanctuary Choir
- Deutsche Sprachschule Bloomfield
- Langsford mens Chorus
- Harlan Elementary Glee Club
- Seaholm's 'The Voices' Choir
- Deutsche Schule Detroit
- Code Honor Quartet
- Engelchoir Ensemble
For the kids
Bringing the kids or the grandchildren? Make sure to visit the Santa House, near the corner of Merrill and Henrietta. The Birmingham Rotary Club will be taking pictures for $5 a piece.
Then, make sure to head over to the Kinder Haus, hosted by the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA), Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Art Road and the Robot Garage, where kids can stay busy with plenty of winter crafts and activities.
If things get too chilly for the little ones, head over to the Baldwin Public Library for fairy tale crafts in the Youth Room, a display of holiday books from the around the world as well as a mini book sale in the library lobby.
In addition, the library will present German Fairy Tale Favorites, stories for the whole family, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Make sure you don't miss
- An ice-carving demonstration from Chef Doug Ganhs from 3-9 p.m. Friday
- Horse-drawn carriage rides around the city all weekend long
- A performance by the Village Youth Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Friday
- The DIA flashlight tour of the various DIA art pieces scattered throughout the city. The tour leaves at 6 p.m. Saturday.