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Peter Feigin (right) helps announce the new Christkindlmarket coming to the Bucks arena plaza. (PHOTO: Jimmy Carlton)

Christmas comes early: New Bucks arena to host Christkindlmarket

For a city as rich in German heritage as Milwaukee, it's always been strange that we've never had a big, ballyhooed Christkindlmarket. Chicago, for instance, has hosted a Christkindlmarket of its own for more than 20 years, a popular tourist trip for Milwaukeeans looking for some unique Christmas cheer.

That's going to change this holiday season, however, as officially announced this afternoon, the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center will host a traditional German Christmas market and festival this winter. The free event will begin on Nov. 17 and remain up permanently through Dec. 31, celebrating German culture and the holiday season with festive shopping, delicious European delicacies, hot spiced wine, fine beer, hand-crafted ornaments, entertainment, family fun and more.

Modeled after the holiday festivities in Nuremberg, Germany, the free outdoor Christmas market – organized by German American Events, LLC, the same group behind the event in Chicago – will feature approximately 30 vendors showcasing and selling hand-crafted ornaments, toys and gifts, as well as tasty holiday treats and drinks to help keep warm in the Wisconsin winter chill.

The hours for Christkindlmarket Milwaukee are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thanksgiving (Nov. 23), Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), and New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; on Christmas Day (Dec. 25), the event is closed.

And, Feigin noted during the announcement, though the Chicago Christkindlmarket is an obvious inspiration and model for success, the Bucks also aim for Milwaukee's version to have a sense of uniqueness special to the city and to the space.

"It's all about activation and density in the plaza," Feigin said. "This is a great opportunity to create a new annual tradition in Milwaukee."

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more details – but for the time being, watch this video of Chicago's Christkindlmarket and enjoy a little burst of Christmas in July.

Jimmy Carlton contributed to this report.


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