Kris Kringle market is feast for the senses

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published December 4, 2013

 Rochester’s Kris Kringle Market offers fun for the whole family Dec. 6 and 7 on Fourth Street.

Rochester’s Kris Kringle Market offers fun for the whole family Dec. 6 and 7 on Fourth Street.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

ROCHESTER — The 700-year tradition of European Christmas markets inspired the Kris Kringle two-day event planned for Dec. 6 and 7 on Fourth Street.

“This is our sixth season for Kris Kringle,” said Nancy Voges, Rochester Downtown Development Authority marketing coordinator. “It was an extension of the farmers market — for farmers to sell products in winter. We’ll have handcrafted items and specialty foods. Most are made in Michigan.”

The lively sounds of bell ringers, singers and carolers will be heard, and the smells and tastes of strudel, hot cocoa, roasted almonds, kettle corn, Dresden Stollen and traditional German spiced wine will be offered at the Kris Kringle Market.

Farmers sell fresh greens, including swags and roping, at the market, which lines Fourth Street between Main and Walnut. Vendors plan to offer Pewabic Pottery, personalized ornaments and hand-knit mittens, Voges said.

Four Express Clydesdale horses will be stationed on Walnut Street on Saturday, offering around-the-block stagecoach rides. Santa will be available for visits, and a child-sized gingerbread house will be ready for playtime throughout the event.

Local history gift items, including calendars, books, videos, maps and miniature collectable wooden buildings, will be available for purchase at the Rochester-Avon Historical Society booth.

A warming tent will feature hot spiced wine from Fieldstone Winery and handcrafted beer from the Rochester Mills Beer Co. Kids are invited to create a holiday craft at the Children’s Activity Station and roast s’mores over a fire pit.

The Kris Kringle Market is held the two days before to the Rochester Christmas Parade, scheduled for Dec. 8. The market is in the midst of Rochester’s Big, Bright Light Show, which runs through Jan. 5 and offers a spectacular light show from 5 p.m.-midnight every evening.

Throughout December, horse-drawn carriage rides will be available 6-9 p.m. every Friday night in downtown Rochester.

“They start at $10 a ride, depending on the distance of the ride,” said Stephanie Hellebuyck, event coordinator with the Rochester Downtown Development Authority. The horses and carriages will be on Fourth Street. 

Kris Kringle Market hours are 4-10 p.m. Dec. 6 and noon-10 p.m. Dec. 7. For more information, contact the Rochester DDA office at (248) 656-0060.