Final preparations are underway as Barrington gets ready to host the community’s inaugural three-day ChristKindlFest downtown this December. The open air winter festival on December 6th, 7th and 8th will be a traditional German American holiday market with authentic German food, drinks, merchandise, holiday-themed activities and daily entertainment for all ages.
The festival will take place in the Harris Bank parking lot between Cook Street and Grove Avenue, where Cruise Nights are hosted during the summer. The Barrington Village Association, the same group that hosts the Barrington Farmers Market, has partnered with the Barrington Breakfast Rotary to plan the three-day fest, a smaller, suburban version of Chicago’s popular ChristKindlMarket that draws more than a million visitors each year to Daley Plaza.
Organizers have already lined up an impressive list of local sponsors to help fund Barrington’s ChrstKindlFest, including Pepper Construction where carpenters in their warehouse on Hager Avenue have been busy this week constructing the first of ten wood structures that will house the festival’s authentic German retail vendors.
Pepper Construction Vice President of Equipment Bob Bollman says they’re building each ChristKindlFest hut with a design inspired by the structures used in the Daley Plaza festival. “Everything is modular so it’s a lot of bolts and numbered pieces that you can take apart and put back together again like a jigsaw puzzle so we can transport them, set them up on site and then store them after the festival.”
In addition to the unique and handcrafted retail vendors, there will be at least five authentic German food vendors on hand including Palatine’s Bauers Brauhaus. The fest will also feature a beer truck and tent for serving adult beverages and warmed glug plus hot cider right next to a main pavilion tent with a stage set up for a packed schedule of live bands and entertainment throughout the three day festival. There will also be live reindeer and three carnival rides for kids including a carousel and Santa’s Train.
I recently visited with ChristKindlFest planners Malcolm Rosenfeld of the Barrington Breakfast Rotary and the Barrington Village Association’s Doug Skor.
Malcolm says Barrington’s ChristKindlFest is not only a great way to continue to connect neighbors here in Barrington, it’s an effort to draw others and turn our downtown a true holiday destination that’s conveniently located within 100 yards of the northwest train line. “This is an event that can bring in in thousands and thousands and thousands of people a day along the railroad tracks. We’re advertising on Metra and we will be bringing people in on the train to shop and enjoy Barrington.”
Doug Skor, who is coordinating the event details and has been in charge of lining up sponsors, says though ChristKindlFest will only last three days this year, they plan to grow the festival to a ten day event next year.
“There’s a reason why these fests have been going on throughout Europe for decades upon decades and that is because of what it does to the sense of the community and for what it does to the village squares so that’s really what we’re trying to do. What we’re building is a winter wonderland that people from our own village can walk to, enjoy and be proud of and where friends from our surrounding communities can come and enjoy and participate and understand what downtown Barrington is all about.”
There will be no admission charge for ChristKindleFest during the day, but there will be a fee at the door during the evening’s events which include a Brew & Glugfest plus live music on Friday & Saturday nights. Here’s a look at the schedule of entertainment planned for the three day festival:
4:00 pm: Barrington Children’s, Chamber & Men’s Choir
4:30 pm: Harmonizing Hawks
5:00 pm: Bataille Academie of the Danse
5:30 pm: Joe De Luca Orchestra
6:00 pm: Joe De Luca Orchestra
6:30 pm: Joe De Luca Orchestra
7:00 pm: Mars Live
8:00 pm: The Fluffers
11:00 am: Silly Strings, LZ Middle School
12:00 pm: Barrington Suzuki Strings
1:00 pm: Stinray Singers
1:30 pm: Language Stars
2:00 pm: Barrington Youth Orchestra
3:00 pm: The Strolling Carolers
3:00 pm: Barrington Children’s Choir
3:30 pm: Barrington High School
4:00 pm: Barrington High School
4:30 pm: Barrington High School
6:00 pm: Dancewerks
7:00 pm: Q-Balls
8:00 pm: Stormcrow
11:00 am: Rolling Meadows Madrigal Singers
11:30 am: Joe DeLuca One Man Orchestra
12:00 pm: Tuba Christmas
1:00 pm: Joe De Luca One Man Orchestra
1:30 pm: Bell Choir–Atonement Lutheran
2:00 pm: Barrington Children’s Choir
3:00 pm: Die Musikmeisters
4:00 pm: Die Musikmeisters
ChristKindleFest organizers are also working closely with the Village of Barrington and local merchants to help make this year’s event a success for all involved. They say the festival will only add to the fun of Santa’s annual arrival and shopping events hosted by merchants throughout Barrington on Saturday, December 7th. ChristKindlFest organizers are also hosting a community Gingerbread contest to connect the festival to surrounding holiday activities, with competing gingerbread houses stationed at shops around Barrington from November 15th through December 20th.
If you would like to get involved in this year’s ChristKindlFest, Doug Skor says they’re looking for volunteers of all ages to help run the event.
For volunteer opportunities and for more information about ChristKindleFest and participating food, beer and retail vendors, visit ChristKindlFest.com.
And stay tuned! We’ll be sharing more fun details about the inaugural Barrington ChristKindlFest in the weeks ahead right here at 365Barrington.com.