The first annual ChristKindlFest winter market, beer and glug festival opens at 4 this afternoon and the weather forecast looks like it’ll be dry but chilly this weekend. Don’t forget that the fest features a huge HEATED TENT to help keep you toasty when you ready to come inside.
But there’s much to see and do at the fest and you’ll want to soak it all in so organizers say the dress code is “Layers, layers, LAYERS, with a festive layer on top!” Over the past few days, they have been busy transforming the Harris Bank parking lot in downtown Barrington into a “winter wonderland” for the three-day festival and, rest assured, there will be plenty of places to stay warm. Even the bathrooms are in a heated tent enclosure! Plus, the main festival tent will be heated throughout the weekend with tables for you to enjoy festival food with friends while you’re watching performances on stage.
The festival setup began in the early morning hours this Wednesday, when a crew from Pepper Construction (a ChristKindlFest Diamond Sponsor) rolled the ten wooden structures they built to house the ChristKindlFest retail vendors down Main Street on a flatbed trailer well before sunrise. With this precious and highly unusual cargo, they knew they needed to beat the early morning traffic and I caught them on camera at the corner of Barrington & Main Streets.
Then, they set the structures up in the Harris Bank parking lot where they met volunteer ChristKindlFest planner, Barrington Breakfast Roatary member and Executive Director of The Garlands, David Loop.
Within a few hours, the structures were set up and, throughout the week, tents erected, carnival rides put into place and – now – it’s showtime!
The three-day event hosted by the Barrington Breakfast Rotary and Barrington Village Association will feature non-stop performances by about 400 local musicians, German food and beer, shopping for authentic German and hand-crafted merchandise, carnival rides, live reindeer and fun for people of all ages.
The event is free until 7 p.m., after which time there will be a $5 cover charge and, though they’re not expecting a profit this year, David Loop says their goal is to grow ChristKindlFest into something that will benefit the Barrington community in significant ways.
“This can help be a fundraising engine in the future that will continue to support other not-for-profits so I think it’s very commendable that the Barrington Area Community Foundation’s early donation of that first $20,000 in time will produce twenty and twenty and twenty thousands of dollars that will go back to the community, hopefully for years to come.”
As David Loop pointed out, the Barrington Breakfast Rotary has been the driving force behind local scholarships, storm warning systems at the high school, micro loans for local businesses and countless other community causes. He also says they’re currently working on new initiatives, including new ways to help local veterans.
Now that the day has come, organizers who have been planning the festival for months are excited to see the fruits of their labor come to life and Doug Skor with the Barrington Village Association and one of the founders of the Barrington Farmers Market and Uncork Barrington says, when we head down to ChristKindlFest this weekend, we are truly in for a treat!
“We’ve worked hard to ensure that we have plenty of WOW built into this event. We want this to be a great family fun fest for everyone to come out and say, ‘Wow, this is awesome!’ There’s something for everyone. They can eat, shop, listen and have a good time together right here in downtown Barrington.”
The festival opens at 4 p.m. today with a holiday concert featuring about 80 members of the Barrington Children’s, Chamber and Men’s Choirs.
Suzanne Gibson with the Barrington Breakfast Rotary has led the planning for the music we’ll hear at ChristKindlFest and says there will be no shortage of familiar holiday favorites for you to hear at the fest.
“Throughout the weekend people can expect to see a real panorama of the talent of the youth in Barrington and nearby communities. We have about 400 musicians, students and volunteer performers who are sharing their talents and they are going to fill Barrington with joy for three days.”
One of the musical finales for the weekend will be a Tuba Christmas performance and Community Sing-Along at noon on Sunday conducted by Barrington High School Director of Bands, Randy Karon.
Barrington is one of 140 sites around the United States that will host a Tuba Christmas Community-Sing-Along during the month of December. Other sites include The Rink at Rockefeller Center in New York City, the Palmer House in Chicago and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
The first MERRY TUBACHRISTMAS was performed December 22, 1974 in New York City’s Rockefeller Center. The event was conceived by Harvey Phillips to honor all artists/teachers through the late tubist William J. Bell.
For more information about ChristKindlFest activities, CLICK HERE, to learn more about the food and drink, CLICK HERE and definitely check out the event’s website, which you’ll find at ChristKindlFest.com.
And stay tuned to 365Barrington.com. In the coming days we’ll be featuring ChristKindlFest as it unfolds with photos and with a special report by Catherine Goetze for 365 Barrington TV. In the meantime, here’s a look back at the planning process, in photos. Thanks for all of your hard work and see you at the festival!