Downtown Rochester to welcome Kris Kringle Market

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 20, 2015

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ROCHESTER — The holiday season is upon us, and the city of Rochester is doing its part once again to spread some cheer.

Downtown Rochester will transform into a European holiday market next weekend for the eighth annual Kris Kringle Market.

Inspired by the 700-year-old tradition of the European Christmas market, Rochester’s open-air holiday market will offer food, holiday shopping and live entertainment 4-10 p.m. Dec. 4 and noon-10 p.m. Dec. 5 on West Fourth Street, between Main and Walnut. The event also coincides with The Big, Bright Light Show — which begins at 5 p.m. each night.

“It’s a European-style, open-air holiday market,” Nancy Voges, marketing coordinator for the Rochester Downtown Development Authority, said of the event. “People can find unique gifts for the holiday season, fresh greens — including wreaths and garland — and also a lot of speciality foods. You could stroll along and pick up a hot dinner along the way.”

Over 40 vendors will show their wares in individual tents, uniformly dressed up for the holidays downtown with garland and lights. Products range from Michigan-themed apparel and handcrafted jewelry to handsewn American Girl-sized doll clothing and handmade sugar cookies.

Imerman Cake Co., of Bloomfield Hills, will be on hand to supply organic coffee cakes in two flavors — cinnamon and chocolate chip. Jeff Imerman — who owns and operates the business with his mother, Jane — said all of their cakes are certified organic and include no artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, and contain ingredients sourced without antibiotics, growth hormones, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, or genetically engineered ingredients.

“We have been so grateful to the Rochester community and how our cakes have been received there,” he said. “The energy at the Kris Kringle Market is just amazing. It seems like 1,000 people are packed into the street amidst all the light and the booths and the food and the drinks. It’s just an incredibly unique experience.”

A warming tent — with beer donated by the Rochester Mills Beer Co. and food from Penny Black — will also be available during the event. Commemorative glass Kris Kringle Market mugs filled with “gluhwein” — a German hot spiced wine — or a pint of handcrafted beer will be for sale for $10. Empty mugs cost $6 each.

Kids attending Kringle can visit and have their picture taken with Santa Claus — with proceeds from photo sales going to the local Lions Club. There will also be a free kids’ craft activity sponsored and staffed by The Friendship Factory, and a chance to play in three gingerbread playhouses donated and built by Bloomingdale Construction.

Voges said the event is a unique, family-friendly experience.

“It’s a feast for the senses. You get to smell all the smells, get something to eat, buy unique things for the holidays and enjoy live entertainment,” she said.

For more information about the Kris Kringle Market, visit www.DowntownRochesterMI.com or call (248) 656-0060.

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