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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 prepares to take over .

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:

The basics

  • Where: 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 , both of who were born and raised in Germany. The pair received permission to start the Markt with the in November 2010.
  • Parking: Parking is free for the first two hours in any of the city's parking garages, including the nearby and . 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 (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 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 and , 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:

  • Honors Choir
  • Honors Choir
  • Eric Neubaurer Brass Quartet
  • Honors Choir
  • Birmingham Brass Quintet
  • Twelfth Night Singers
  • Apostolic Church Sanctuary Choir
  • Deutsche Sprachschule Bloomfield
  • Langsford mens Chorus
  • Glee Club
  • '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 , 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), , Art Road and the , 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 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
  • 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 . The tour leaves at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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