Skip to main content

A bit of Old World charm coming to St. Paul for the holidays

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Traditions have to start somewhere, and organizers of a new German-style Christmas festival in the Twin Cities hope that place will be St. Paul.

Set for Thanksgiving weekend, the European Christmas Market will be located downtown along W. 7th Place, next door to the Park Square Theatre and Great Waters Brewing Co., according to the event's website.

Modeled after the open-air Christkindmarkt found in Germany and Austria and similar to other markets around Europe, organizers say the event will feature decorative wooden booths for local artists and vendors, food and crafts that reflect not only cultural traditions from around the world but also those of Minnesota.

Organizer Renate Sharp, who immigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1957, told the Pioneer Press such markets are a mainstay in town squares throughout western Europe every winter.

"We think this will be a positive step to bring people to downtown St. Paul," she told the paper. "And it offers local artists and artisans a venue to sell their crafts."

And craft beer. The aforementioned Great Waters Brewing Co. will be on hand selling not only signature brews but also classic European foods, like kielbasa, bratwurst, goulash and apple strudel.

Sharp, who sits on the board of directors of the European Christmas Market, said the event has been in the works for three years. As the Pioneer Press reports, Sharp and other organizers hope it will become an annual St. Paul tradition.

The event runs from November 28th through the 30th.

Cross-River Competition?

If you live in Minneapolis and the trip across the river to see the European Christmas Market seems a little too far, your city has its own German-inspired Christmas festival kicking off that same weekend.

A spiritual successor to the now-defunct Holidazzle Parade, the Holidazzle Village Featuring the Minneapolis Holiday Market, as it is called, offers both a Christmas "village" featuring choirs, bands and kid-targeted entertainment as well as an open-air market similar to St. Paul's new event.

Unlike its cross-river counterpart, however, the festivities in Minneapolis will run until Christmas Eve.

The similarity of the two events, as well as the fact that they're opening the same day, may seem striking, but European Christmas Market organizer Renate Sharp tells the Pioneer Press it's just a coincidence.

Next Up

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.


Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.


Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.


FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.


State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.


Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.


COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.