By Alicia Lacy
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE – The aroma of funnel cakes and corn dogs drifted in the air, and most Copperas Cove residents knew that meant time for the annual Krist Kindl Markt.
Friday night, the weather was undeniably cold, but a few dozen showed up to the opening ceremony of the Krist Kindl Markt bundled up and ready for the festivities to begin. The event wraps up today at 3 p.m.
For the 15th annual market, setup began early with downtown streets closed at 6 a.m. and vendors pulling in to set their booths up at 7 a.m. The carnival arrived on Thursday.
With a wide array of food and handmade crafts and unique gifts available, many vendors came back for another year.
It has been three years since there was a carnival at the Krist Kindl Markt.
"We try to have different entertainment every year," Downtown Association President Donna Howard said Friday about the carnival.
"It's a way for us to celebrate the German heritage, and it's mom, dad and family oriented," Howard said.
Gustavo Sierra of Killeen brought his wife, son and nephew to the event. The group hadn't been to Krist Kindl for a couple of years, but decided to come out to see the different crafts after seeing the event advertised in Killeen.
Chanel Brunn of Killeen set up her tent at the market for the second year.
After experiencing success at last year's event, Brunn said she decided to come back with an assortment of home décor and Christmas decorations.
"It worked pretty good last year," she said.
The market has something for everyone, with a carnival and petting zoo for the kids and crafts and gifts.
For sports fans, Sports Stream USA had plaques and sports memorabilia for sale, with 25 percent of the proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Project at Fort Hood.
Lisa Bedburdick of Copperas Cove comes to the market every year with her family, with the petting zoo a must-see attraction for the group.
The Krist Kindl Markt also is a tradition for Sara Felen and her family, and the event would not be complete without visiting many of the vendor booths.
First-timer Jennifer Pearson said she loved the event.
Pearson, who moved to Copperas Cove in July, said she came early Saturday morning to hear the junior high choir, but wound up staying the whole day.
Krist Kindl Markt is an annual event hosted by the Downtown Association. The event is modeled after the traditional German Christmas in Germany.
It wouldn't be Krist Kindl Markt without the Chamber-hosted lighted Christmas parade.
A little after 3 p.m. Saturday, the back parking lot of Copperas Cove High School began to fill with parade participants.
And shortly after 4, the lot was nearly full as members of the Shriners revved up their go-karts and horses from the 1st Cavalry Division's mounted color guard were walked out of a trailer.
Lighted cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles and dogs made their way down Avenue D for the lighted Christmas parade.
Peeking through spectators, 5-year-old Jada Woodberry watched as Santa Claus rode by in a fire truck with Mrs. Claus in the back.
Jada said seeing Santa Claus was her favorite part of the parade.
Though they come to Krist Kindl every year, Bedburdick said this year was their first time seeing the Christmas parade.
Contact Alicia Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.