Here’s Why Charlotte’s Christkindlmarkt 2016 Uptown Christmas Market Was Such A Let-Down

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cltchristmasvillage

A few weeks ago, everyone was talking about Christkindlmarkt 2016 as one of the best Christmas events to come to Charlotte in decades. It’s website was advertising dozens of wooden huts that would make up the village, as well as tons of live music, performances, and characters – it was going to look like a true old-timey village in the woods!

Fast forward to November 24th, the day the market opened…and here’s what we got:

christkindlmarkt-christmas-village-2016

Here were some of the comments we received when the market first opened:

Turns out, Christkindlmarkt 2016 doesn’t have nearly as many vendors as people expected, with only 1 toy tent, a few food tents, and a few tents that are completely unrelated to Christmas (like gutter repair).

The Mecklenburg County Manager, Dena R. Diorio, just sent us this response as to why the village didn’t have wooden huts:

“Romare Bearden Park is located inside Charlotte’s fire district, and in North Carolina, state law requires that only non-combustible or fire-resistant construction be allowed inside a fire district. Fire districts exist to protect business centers like uptown from burning too quickly.

The village could not be assembled according to the organizer’s original plan because the materials were combustible.

Mecklenburg County enforces this state requirement through our building permits process, but we did not determine the bounds of the fire district.

In circumstances like these, we work with the event owner and Charlotte Fire Department to offer any alternatives we can that might be code compliant. Which alternative an organizer chooses is ultimately up to them, so long as it meets building safety codes. We view ourselves as partners in helping projects to succeed, but we would never put the safety of our community, or our responsibility for enforcing safety codes, second.

We are committed to exploring alternate ways to approach the situation next year, and have already talked to other communities about how they approach events like this.”

I also discovered that vendor booths were priced at over $3,000 each – a possible reason why there are so few vendors, and possibly why more local artisans didn’t show up – hopefully they’ll do a much better job next year.

The small gathering of tents does still have candied nuts, some food, and a decent amount of local beer and wine varieties.

There will also be live music on the following dates:

Saturday, Dec. 17

12 noon – Queen City Juvenile Pipes and Drum Band

4:00pm – Chamber Ensemble- Community School of Arts

Sunday, Dec. 18

3:00pm – Long Overdue Bluegrass Band

The village will continue to stay open the following hours (until Christmas):
Tuesdays – Wednesdays: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursdays – Saturdays: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sundays: noon – 6 p.m.
Closed on Mondays.

Click here for parking options.

For more information you can vist Christkindlmarkt’s main website at cltchristmasvillage.com

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