FERDINAND – As tradition would have it, the third full weekend in November annually brings the heady aroma of authentic Bavarian specialty foods, regional wines, and over 200 vendors of folk art, period pieces, and handmade treasures.  An incredible array of Christmas wares, antiques, quality hand-crafted, and primitives await the public at Ferdinand’s Christkindlmarkt, Saturday and Sunday, November 19 and 20.

Christkindlmarkts began in 14th century Germany and continue today.  Artisans display their wares in the local churchyard in the weeks before Christmas.  Ferdinand’s Christkindlmarkt is one of the most authentic in the United States.  Instead of booths in the churchyard, markt sites are located indoors and outdoors throughout town.  Parking is free as is transportation between markt sites.

The six markt locations include the Ferdinand Community Center at 1710 Community Drive, the Tri-County YMCA Antiques Markt at 131 E. 16th Street, Forest Park High School on 14th and Vienna, the Ferdinand American Legion at 425 Main Street, Ferdinand Elementary at 402 E. 8th Street, and the Monastery Event Hall at 840 E. 10th Street.

In addition to regional foods and wines, quality handcrafted treasures, antiques, florals, folk art, ornaments, pottery, fabric, and artwork, booths will showcase the works of wood carvers, basket weavers, chocolatiers, candle makers, bakers, and other artisans as at Christkindlmarkts held in Germany.  There are many exciting new vendors ready to show their wares.  The festival-styled setting has drawn thousands of guests as part of the Olde World Christmas program promoted by the Ferdinand Tourism and the Dubois County Visitors Center.

Live, free musical entertainment will be offered both days at the Forest Park locations, including the amazing Marionette Theater with half life size puppets at 12:15, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. EST Saturday and at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.   The live Glockenspiel performances will perform at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday on the stage in the Forest Park High School Auditorium located in the FPHS Lower Commons.  These live cuckoo clock animations last approximately ten minutes after the chiming of the hour.

A Reindeer Reserve Meet ‘N Greet will be held at the Ferdinand Branch Library Community Room from 11:00 – Noon on Saturday.  One of Santa’s elves will arrive from the North Pole with a reindeer you can meet!  Be sure to tell Santa what you want for Christmas when you visit with Santa Claus from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday at German American, 1020 Main Street.  The Christkind (Christmas Angel) and Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) will also be making their appearances on Saturday while musicians entertain at the various market sites throughout the weekend.

The beautiful Monastery Immaculate Conception Church will host Saturday evening’s entertainment featuring a seasonal concert with musicians from the Evansville Philharmonic at 7:00 p.m.  The holiday program features a wide variety of heartwarming traditional and contemporary Christmas music. The concert is free and open to the public, goodwill donations will be accepted.  And then on Sunday, a mass with German hymns will be held at St. Ferdinand Church at 10:00 a.m. EST.   

Free tours of Monastery Immaculate Conception will be available on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and again on Sunday any time between 12:30 and 3 p.m.

All six markt sites will be open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST on Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST on Sunday.  There is no admission charge.

The Christkindl herself appears on Christkindlmarkt Eve, November 18th, at the markt’s annual opening ceremonies.  Bells chime, choirs sing, and children light the way prior to Christkindl’s appearance to herald in the markt.  This ceremony, free and open to the public, begins at 6:30 p.m. on the west hillside of the Monastery Immaculate Conception, the “Castle on the Hill” as the locals call it.  A bake sale hosted by the Sisters of St. Benedict follows inside the crypt.

The Markets open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

Ferdinand, Indiana, is located on Indiana State Road 162, one mile north of I-64, at Exit 63, 45 minutes east of Evansville, Indiana, and one-hour west of Louisville, Kentucky.  For more information and/or hotel accommodations, visit www.duboiscountchristmas.com or contact 1-800-968-4578.

A Dubois County Christmas

Stroll beautiful downtowns in three historic towns offering unique festivals and celebrations featuring carriage rides, holiday concerts, & specialty shopping in fashion boutiques, antique stores & gift shops!

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