With about 20 vendors and plenty of German touches — from a strolling minstrel to brats and beer, Brookfield's German Holiday Market is expanding in its second year.
From 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, the event offers a slew of traditional German performances before and after the tree lighting at 4:50 p.m., and several indoor activities, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Alderwoman Renee Lowerr, who helped plan the event, said she got involved after enjoying it as a guest last year.
"Seeing other people enjoying and listening to German music and eating German food brought back lots of fun childhood memories for me," she said.
Like many people and businesses in Brookfield, Lowerr has German heritage. Brookfield's sister city, Seligenstadt, is in Germany. Officials from the two communities have taken part in an exchange program, as have local students.
The holiday market is another opportunity for cultural exchange. In organizing the first market last year, the Sister City Committee had help from United Donauschwaben, an organization of ethnic Germans living in Wisconsin, to model it closely after traditional German markets.
In addition to the food and crafts sold by vendors, Brookfield's Sister City Committee will be selling ornaments, and high school German clubs will be selling advent calendars. and used German books.
Several sponsors helped with the event, including Wheaton Franciscan and BMO Harris Bank.
"It's great to have everybody coming together to learn more about this culture and enjoying the food and entertainment," Lowerr said.
If you go
WHAT: German Holiday Market and tree lighting
WHERE: Civic Plaza, near City Hall, 2000 N. Calhoun Road
· 2 to 4:45 p.m., performances from United Donauschwaben of Milwaukee, band and chorus ensembles, and Milwaukee Liederkranz choir
· 4:50 p.m., tree lighting featuring the Donauschwaben Singers
· 5:10 to 8 p.m., Austrian Express Band, Brookfield City Chorus, closing remarks
· Vendors, refreshments and hay rides are available throughout the day.
· 2 to 5 p.m. letters to Santa and crafts for kids, inside City Hall
· 3 to 4 p.m. story time, inside City Hall
· 3 to 5 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus, inside City Hall
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