International Holiday Market opens
The Black Forest of Germany has come to Cape Coral as the European Business Council hosts its fourth annual International Holiday Market starting today at 5 p.m.
Little wooden booths will dot the parking lot located behind Eddie Fishbowls on Cape Coral Parkway as the market brings a European style experience to Southwest Florida for holiday shoppers, featuring exclusive German Christmas ornaments and delectables
Originally sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Cape Coral, the European Business Council became its own non-profit entity in January.
Executive Director Juergen Hartwich said that although the market is for everybody, it is aimed at Europeans living throughout Southwest Florida who are lusting for a taste of home.
“It’s for the European community because when the Europeans are in foreign countries, they are missing a Christmas market,” he said.
Hurtwich said they have expanded the number of vendors for this year’s market to 15, as well as expanded the children’s area.
Festival activities include a Waltzing Waters show, live local musicians and performers, an Irish dance group and Ms. Teen winners from the Cape, Fort Myers and Naples.
Cape Coral resident Tami Gill, a country singer who has opened for national acts and performed the national anthem at Red Sox and Twins spring training games, will perform.
Along with traditional German gifts such as clocks, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments, the festival also features German food and beverages, including select German beers and wine.
The large influx of German residents and tourists have made the festival a success over the years, according to Hurtwich.
The European Business Council has been advertising heavily on German radio in recent days, letting transplanted Europeans know a little taste of home is right here in Southwest Florida.
“We are the only German Christmas market here in Southwest Florida. Every year we have a better turnout. There are more and more Germans,” he said.
The International Holiday Market is located at 1306 Cape Coral Parkway. It runs from 4-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, contact the European Business Council at 645-4191.