Reviewed by: Sarah Gronberg
The numbers are in. The 2023 Cullman Christkindlmarkt, the South’s largest and most authentic German-inspired Christmas market, attracted more than 210,000 attendees from November 24 to December 23, according to the Cullman Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism.
A national destination in Cullman
The month-long festival attracted visitors from 41 states and 727 cities as far away as Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii.
“Our attendance peaked during the final three days of the festival, reaching nearly 65,000, with the record for the highest single-day attendance set on Saturday, December 23, with 24,000 attendees.”~ Nathan Anderson, Executive Director, Cullman Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism
A Christkindlmarkt years in the making
2023 was the first year the Christmas wonderland was on full display in downtown Cullman.
Home to a beautifully crafted Weihnachtspyramide (Christmas pyramid) – the tallest in the United States — the event surrounded the structure with an ice skating rink and 40 vendors selling authentic German delicacies and gifts.
“The German cuisine was exceptionally popular, with the Chimney Cakes becoming a legendary treat among those who tried this unique sweet pastry. The imported German figurines and Weihnachtspyramiden captivated everyone’s attention. Each vendor brought a great variety of merchandise, which our customers thoroughly appreciated and loved!”~ Nathan Anderson, Executive Director, Cullman Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism
What’s next for 2024 — doubling the size of the Christkindlmarkt
According to Anderson, the community’s goal is to double the size of the Cullman Christkindlmarkt for 2024. They will do this by:
- Bringing in a more diverse and impressive array of merchandise and culinary delights
- Enhancing the winter attractions for children and constructing a captivating Santa Village
- Expanding Depot Park, ensuring a comfortable and joyful experience for all who visit the enchanting German Christmas Market
A community-wide success story for Cullman
Anderson credits the Cullman community for the success of the inaugural month-long Christkindlmarkt.
“We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in this year’s market, who embraced a concept that was untested in this market. The support from the Mayor, City Council, vendors, and sponsors was indispensable. Without their collective commitment, our team could not have made this event the success it was.
We are forever thankful to the families who created lasting memories with us at the Christkindlmarkt. Thank you for embracing the spirit of our event, and we look forward to welcoming you again in 2024!”
Want to be a part of the 2024 Cullman Christkindlmarkt? Visit their website and sign on to the Cullman Christkindlmarkt News.