Are you in the Holiday spirit yet? I am!
After going to the my hosted trip to the Ferdinand Christkindlmarkt November 17-18, 2018 I’m ready to put up my tree, send out my Christmas cards and say “Ho, Ho Ho!”
The wonderful Ferdinand Christkindlmarkt has me in the Christmas spirit. My husband Keith and I arrived in Dubois County’s Jasper Indiana. We checked into the wonderful Hampton Inn .
The Hampton Inn is located next to a fantastic German restaurant, the Schnitzelbank. We enjoyed the beauty of historic Jasper while being near the town of Ferdinand where the festival was located. The Hampton Inn has a great breakfast in the morning. Best of all, the rooms are cozy and clean and the staff is great!
We arrived on Friday and headed out to make the Christkindlmart Eve ceremonies. The ceremony takes place on the grounds of the Monastery of Immaculate Conception. Watching the Christmas Angel open the 21st annual event was magical. If you get a chance take a tour of this amazingly beautiful place!
Playing tourist in Jasper, Indiana
The next morning, loving my farm history, we headed first to the lovely Schaeffer Barn. There I saw the historic hand-hewn log barn. Located near the Jasper Riverwalk, the barn was built in the 1800’s and serves as a backdrop for many events and photos. The Schaeffer Barn is typical of German buildings and features a Cantilever Overhang.
Next, off to downtown Jasper. I wanted a quick look at the lovely buildings like the Dubois County Courthouse. Designed by noted architectural firm Milburn & Heister and built between 1909 and 1911, I learned online that the building is “a three-story, Classical Revival style reinforced concrete and masonry building”.
The Dubois County Courthouse was the first thing we saw when we drove into town. You can’t miss it. It has a cupola 100 feet high!
I also loved the beautiful Soldiers and Sailors Monument erected in 1894. I made Keith pose next to this statue.
Downtown there were an array of cool buildings with the old fashioned corner theater being my favorite!
We also stopped and gawked at the beautiful St. Joseph Church. Built in 1880, it is a Romanesque old world-style church built by early parishioners. The church showcases German stained glass windows. There are Austrian-designed and imported mosaics with 50 million stones. I only wish we had time to go inside. We were amazed by the tower whose design was taken from the tower that houses Big Ben in London and stands 235 feet tall! I was also quite taken with the statues and especially the Christ on the Cross.
Later in the Day, we came back and stopped at the wonderful Dubois County Museum. I got a wonderful tour and history of the county and more of my farm fix. I also enjoyed the Festival of Trees they were featuring. Here I saw the wonderful Santa Collection throughout the museum!
Shopping at the Christkindlmarkt!
With six locations for the market, we had a lot of ground to cover! The market includes over 200 booths of Christmas wares. There are handmade treasures, art, antiques, primitives, regional foods and wines and collectible gifts. Our first stop was the Tri-County YMCA Antiques markt. Keith especially likes his antiques. We had fun just wandering through the vendors and eying the beautiful items in the booths. While we didn’t buy any antiques, we did indulge in spiced nuts!
Next was the Forest Park High School which had several sections of booths. I loved seeing the colorful array of handmade items, the amazing food. Keith had to buy some peanut brittle and the baked goods were AMAZING. One woman made her own hats, another made art out of gourds, but my favorite was Dale DeLong whose business was Spirits in the Wood, he makes walking sticks, canes and driftwood cypress knees creations one of which Keith bought me for Christmas. It is so beautiful! It is now sitting on my mantel.
Another favorite sighting was a display of nutcrackers that although not for sale was quite festive. At the Forest Park Practice Gym we watched students perform a live Glockenspiel performance. The definition of Glockenspiel according to Encyclopedia Britannica”is a musical instrument composed of a set of graduated steel bars mounted in a frame and struck with hammers, used especially in bands.”
In this case, this was a rendition of songs performed as figures came out like on a time clock. They did a wonderful job. I had never seen anything like this and Keith said it was his favorite part of the market festival.
At the Community Center, another stop, we saw was the Black Forest Organ Grinder out front who was also quite interesting. The organ was quite beautiful and the grinder was entertaining!
I missed the marionette theater and Santa, (although I did see his look-alike at one of the booths!) but we saw all of the different markets and enjoyed seeing the different buildings and stops around Ferdinand.
Sights & Sounds
Part of the fun was dining at Soup and Such in the historic Wollenmann Home where we were serenaded by German music. I also enjoyed fun sights like the neon sign at the American Legion Hall and the cool fountain down the street from it. Keith saw a bit of his favorite art, tractor art with a Persian Orange Allis Chalmers used as a lawn ornament.
Plan ahead for 2019
The Christkindlmarkt was great fun. It takes place the 3rd weekend of November every year. Make reservations now. Plan ahead now to get your holiday on for 2019, you will be glad you did.