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A celebration of Christmas returns to Germania Hall

As cities throughout Germany are gearing up for their annual Christmas markets, residents of the Ottawa Valley and beyond are looking forward to enjoying A Taste of Christmas in Germany at the 15th annual Christkindlmarkt sponsored by the Germania Club in Pembroke.

In the German tradition it is the Christ Child who brings the gifts at Christmas time. The name, Christkindlmarkt, relates to the Christ Child.

This German-style Christmas market has been a highlight of pre-Christmas activities in Pembroke since 1998. The 2012 edition features more than 50 vendors both inside and outside the Germania Hall, at 15 Bennett Street. It starts Friday, Nov. 23, and runs until Sunday, Nov. 25. Admission is free.

The official opening is on Friday at 4 p.m., with a number of local dignitaries expected to assist in this celebration. Seasonal music will be provided by Amanda and Jessica Rollins.

Users of wheelchairs and walkers, as well as seniors or any others with mobility problems for whom crowds can pose a difficulty, are invited to a special opening from 3 to 4 p.m. on Friday.

Open hours for the general public are from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The Christkindlmarkt features a variety of arts and crafts, including stained glass, blown glass, wheel-thrown pottery, china painting, and hand-painted Christmas ornaments. The large offering of woodcrafts from the Ore Mountains of Germany is always a highlight of the market.

There’s knitting, crochet work, hand-crafted sterling silver jewelry, woodworking including intarsia, carvings, and scroll saw fretwork; maple and honey products, weaving, fleece slippers and accessories, and scroll saw fretwork. There are also candles, soaps and lotions, spices, floral creations, nature photography, and cooking and baking mixes.

There are smoked fish and Kaiserfliesch (smoked meat.) There are homemade chocolates, cuddly toys, jewelry and other articles made from a wide variety of materials including rose quartz.

Again there will be Advent wreaths and sprays made out of fresh greenery, along with traditional Christmas plants. Also in keeping with the German Christmas tradition there will be imported linens, and a wide variety of imported cookies, candies, stollen, and other Christmas treats.

As always, there will be free draws for door prizes donated by vendors approximately every hour throughout the show.

Again this year space has been donated to UNICEF for the sale of Christmas cards and other seasonal items.

Santa will be at the door with treats for the children, so bring your camera to take your child’s picture as he/she chats with the jolly old elf in his sleigh.

A craft area for children will be provided by the Children’s Garden Nursery School so that youngsters can be busy while their parents browse and shop. There is a small charge to cover the cost of materials.

Authentic German food, provided this year by Ullrich’s on Main, will round out the atmosphere of the Christkindlmarkt. The club will also offer sausage on the run in the chalet outside the hall.

Everyone is welcome to Pembroke’s Christkindlmarkt — to shop, to visit, or just to sample A taste of Christmas in Germany.

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