Christmas Market attracts shoppers
The German American Social Club Christmas Market attracted a large crowd who enjoyed Christmas music, traditional German food, a visit and pictures with Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas, along with shopping at various tables that displayed hand-crafted pieces Saturday night.
The Christmas Market, otherwise known as “Christkindlemarket,” is a street market celebration of Christmas in Germany, which begins four weeks before Christmas Day during Advent.
President Gerhard Veith said since the Christmas Markets are very popular in Germany, he wanted to introduce the tradition to Cape Coral residents.
Due to his Christian upbringing, he explained that he personally feels that Christmas is “downplayed for political correctness,” when it should be a “celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.”
“This is the meaning of Christmas,” Gerhard said.
He said those who attended the event last year were disappointed that bratwurst and potato pancakes were not offered, so they added it to the menu of items people could purchase during the second annual market, along with roasted almonds, German beers and wines and desserts.
Another item they served during the market was Gluehwein, a hot-spiced red wine. Gerhard said the hot wine is popular in Germany because this time of the year it is cold and the hot drink makes you feel warmer.
Various vendors also outlined the outer path of the gardens Saturday night, showcasing individual talents and Christmas gift ideas.
Else and Helmut De-Vries, who are members of the Port Charlotte German Club traveled to the Christmas Market to showcase many hand-crafted woodworking pieces.
Else said Helmut usually works on two or three different pieces at a time when creating such things as a rocking horses and elephants, airplanes, trains, trucks and many Christmas items. She explained that many of the things he creates need to be in his hands a few times before it is completed.
The De-Vries’s brought at least 50 items to the market Saturday night, which were selling pretty well during their first appearance.
“We will return again next year,” Else said, due to the really nice people who attended.
Another vendor Rosi Gagliardo, who had her hand-crafted jewelry on display last year, said the market attracted more vendors and people this year.
Necklaces and bracelets were among the majority of the pieces displayed on the table. She explained that she began creating jewelry a year and a half ago and fell in love with making tennis bracelets and wire wrap necklaces with pennants.
“I like to do everything,” she said. “I love to make jewelry.”
In addition to the jewelry, Gagliardo also had some of her knitting and crochet pieces on display as well. She learned the craft 49 years ago when she was 6 from her grandmother, mother and teachers.
“It’s fun,” she said, adding that it was essential to learn when living in Germany due to the cold weather.
Gagliardo said she enjoys attending the market because she has the opportunity to meet a lot of people.
“It makes you happy when people buy your stuff and enjoy what you do,” she said.
Many spectators filled the tables in the garden to enjoy the Christmas music by the Hafenkapelle
Edelweiss Chorus Saturday night while enjoying their drinks and food.
Among one of the happy guests was Betty Spahn who decided to visit the market for the first time on Saturday after she received information regarding the event from Oktoberfest last month.
“I love it,” she said about the Christmas music that filled the air.
Spahn said she also enjoyed visiting the stores and buying some of the German cookies that were for sale.