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German heritage central to Ellinwood Christmas celebration
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Noting the community’s German Heritage, the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce announced the inaugural Christkindlmarket, a Christmas celebration, will be held on December 1st.
“We’re pleased to be hosting what we hope will be a Christmas tradition in Ellinwood,” said J. Basil Dannebohm, Chamber Administrator. “Barton County has successfully built a reputation of being the Holiday Capital of Kansas. The Christkindlmarket will be one more ‘must experience’ event during the holiday season.”
 The event is slated to include an afternoon of shopping, arts, crafts, and food vendors. During the evening activities will include a traditional Abenbrot (evening bread) Dinner, the lighting of two Community Christmas Trees, a living Nativity, a visit by St. Nicholas and Christmas carols led by local choirs.
“A community’s heritage is part of the charm that appeals to visitors,” said Mayor Frank Koelsch. “Lindsborg has served as a successful model of what happens when a small town embraces its heritage and history. Ellinwood is proud of its German roots. This event will be a great way to celebrate and share our German traditions.”
The Christkindlmarket kicks off at 2 p.m. when merchants will open their doors offering special holiday deals and treats. A variety of vendors will be scattered throughout the business district, offering everything from arts and crafts to delicious holiday baked goods.
At 5 p.m. attendees will gather at Wolf Park on Main Street, where, led by area choirs, they will sing Christmas carols leading up to the lighting of a large Christmas tree that will be placed in the band shell. The tree will be lit by Mayor Koelsch and Lloyd Kurtz, President of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
“The idea of gathering at the band shell and lighting a magnificent tree just gives me chills,” said Kurtz. “I’m so pleased our Chamber is starting a new tradition that will surely put everybody in the Christmas spirit.”
The tree will remain lit through the holidays.
After the Christmas tree at the historic band shell is illuminated, attendees, led by the choirs, will proceed to the American Legion Park, where yet another Christmas tree will be lit.
In addition to lighting the second tree, the American Legion Park will be the venue for a Living Nativity at approximately 6 p.m. as well as a traditional German Sankt Nikolaus (Santa Claus) and a variety of concessions including hot cocoa, wassail, apple cider and other holiday treats and eats.
The activities at the American Legion will last from 6 to 9 p.m.
“I certainly echo Mayor Koelsch in expressing Ellinwood’s pride in its German heritage. The city embraces the inaugural Christkindlmarket. We feel this is a great opportunity to open our doors and welcome visitors to our community. Our merchants, vendors, and the community have a lot to offer during this festive season,” said Bob Peter, City Administrator
 For more information about the Christkindlmarket, call the Ellinwood Chamber of Commerce at 620.566.7353 or email