By Jennifer Phonexayphova
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE – Area residents will help kick off the holiday season with the annual Krist Kindl Markt in Copperas Cove from Dec. 1 through Dec. 3.
Sponsored by the Copperas Cove Downtown Association, the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and the City of Copperas Cove, Krist Kindl Markt is a weekend-long event meant to usher in the holidays with a wide variety of food, crafts, activities and entertainment. The popular downtown celebration has been going on for 12 consecutive years.
Linda Ledger, promotions chairman for the CCDA, said the event was created by the Chamber of Commerce, in an effort to bring more people to the downtown area. When CCDA was formed, it took over the event and has been in charge of it for the past nine years.
"Krist Kindl Markt is patterned after German Christmas markets, with a little of our own Texas flavor added to it," Ledger said. "We have a great German heritage in Copperas Cove with both those who emigrated to the U.S. and all of the families that married American soldiers and were brought here."
Though the festival is open to shoppers on Dec. 1, the event kicks off officially with an opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the intersection of Avenue E and Main Street in Copperas Cove. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be present to meet with children and will have a mailbox for letters to Santa. The winner of the Best Decorated Downtown Business will also be proclaimed during opening ceremonies.
Jody Schmidt, president of the Krist Kindl Markt, said four city blocks will be closed off during the festivities, from Avenue D to Avenue F, and from First Street to Second Street.
"We'll have activities for all ages," Schmidt said. "We'll have food and arts and crafts vendors, a petting zoo, and a carnival for the children, just to name a few."
One of the main attractions that bring crowds to Krist Kindl Markt every year is the food.
"I believe people love the food, and every year it changes," Ledger said. "The homemade German cheesecake sold by the Church of the Nazarene here in Cove is always a huge hit."
With over 35 food vendors, there is a wide variety of food to choose from, and hungry residents have their pick of schnitzel, tacos, turkey legs, fried catfish sandwiches, barbecue, gyros, sausages and more.
Food isn't the only attraction that brings people from all over the country to Krist Kindl Markt, however. Over 100 local vendors will be displaying their wares in downtown Cove, selling everything from holiday crafts to jewelry and candles.
"It's more entertainment shopping and not quite as serious," Ledger said. "There's some really neat things, and it's a little bit of a discovery to see what is new every year."
The arts and crafts booths will be set up from Dec. 1 through Dec. 3. Schmidt said they have already sold out all 130 spaces and are opening up another section to accommodate 20 more booths.
Local entertainment will be provided throughout the weekend, including performances by the S.C. Ledger and the Ledger Intermediate Choirs, dance teams and school bands.
Schmidt said that the children's involvement is what brings many people to Krist Kindl Markt. "I think a lot of parents and grandparents come to see the kids perform," she said.
Also at 6 p.m. on Saturday will be the first Night Time Chamber Christmas parade, sponsored by the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce. The parade starts at Cove High School and ends at the Cove Terrace Shopping Center. Live entertainment will also be provided on Saturday by Pat Waters, a self-proclaimed pure-country traditionalist' from Bridgeport who sings honky-tonk and has shared the stage with Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, and Rascal Flatts, among others. Waters will perform from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
New this year will be the Little Miss Krist Kindl Markt Beauty Pageant. Suggested by Leo Sullivan with the Economic Development Cooperation, the pageant was organized in hopes of getting even more people in the community involved in the festivities, Schmidt said.
With all the food and holiday activities, Price said one cannot help but get in a festive mood.
"It's the way we start Christmas in Copperas Cove," she said. "Shopping in the brisk air, savoring a juicy bratwurst, and listening to a little music is just the right way to kick off for the holidays."
Contact Jennifer Phonexayphova at firstname.lastname@example.org