2014 marked the end of the long-running annual “Holidazzle” Parade in downtown Minneapolis and in its place a German-inspired “Christmas Market” was set up in Peavey Plaza running along Nicollet Mall. My roommates and I decided to attend the festivities, to get into the Christmas spirit after the commotion and stress of finals.
My first criticism of the market was the entry fee. $6 is a lot to pay on top of the already higher cost of food and beverages that one finds at these sorts of events. It also contradicts its own claim of authenticity; because “real” German Christmas markets are almost always free. It was also a surprise because since this market concept was somewhat of a replacement for the Holidazzle parade, which was free, being charged just to walk through a Christmas-y village seemed unnecessary.
The hot, spiced mulled wine – Glühwein, was awesome, but a very small quantity and expensive, as you had to buy the ceramic mug that it was served in. I do love the idea of using reusable cups to avoid waste, but it seemed a bit excessive. Compostable coffee cups would have sufficed, and then I would have probably had another (or four more) mulled wines.
The beer cheese soup and bratwurst were amazing, I would definitely recommend splitting the beer cheese soup with a friend. My personal favorite, however, were the potato pancakes served with applesauce and sour cream – I could have eaten three stacks. Absolutely phenomenal.
The non-food vendors included a wide variety of crafty people selling candles, soaps and other goods. There are plenty of options here for unique gift ideas, and supporting local artisans is always a good way to justify spendy Christmas shopping.
Some of the booths took credit cards while others were cash only, so be aware of this before attending.
Overall, it was a nice way to spend an evening but I’m not sure I would go back next year. For more information on the Holiday Market (Which is almost an entire year away, so don’t get too amped up) visit their website http://www.minneapolisholidaymarket.com/