Christkindl Markt has been a staple annual tradition in Rolla for the last seven years.
The Rolla Area Sister City Association presents the event each year in honor of its sister city, Sondershausen, Germany. Over the last 20 years, Rolla and Sondershausen have traded five visits designed to build their relationship.
The Christkindl Markt has a variety of events, virtual and interactive, taking place this year. It will be the fourth annual Lichternacht (“Light the Night”) event, according to Jeff Sandquist, Rolla Choral Arts Society executive director and member of Rolla’s Sister City Committee.
Missourians are welcome to tune in to a live stream of the annual Christmas tree lighting at Rolla Public Library at 7 p.. Dec. 4 on the library’s Facebook page.
The event also kicks off the Lichternacht Holiday Decorating Contest. Rolla residents and businesses can compete for best holiday décor. This year’s theme is “No place like home for the holidays.”
Sandquist said the project is a way for people to safely venture out on their own and explore the holiday sights around Rolla.
“The idea is to get people to get out into the community and see the great displays that people have set up,” he said.
Residential caption awards include best representation of the theme, best traditional décor, best inflatable display and best high-tech display. Businesses can compete for best representation of the theme, best traditional display and best window display.
A panel of judges will determine category winners and choose a grand champion. The public can also vote on their favorite displays on social media and determine the People’s Choice Award.
The fee to enter the contest is $15. Participants must sign up before Nov. 30 and have their holiday display set up by 7 p.m. Dec. 4. Judges will decide the winners by 1 p.m. Dec. 13. Winners will receive gift cards and items from local businesses.
“We’re very pleased with the support received from our sponsors for the competition. We are taking these sponsorships and putting it right back into the community,” Sandquist said.
Although there won’t be an in-person Christkindl Markt festival this year, there are alternatives.
The organization is encouraging Missourians to take pictures of the Christkindl Markt façade and community tree in the Rolla Public Library Plaza and post them on the Christkindl Markt Facebook page. People are also encouraged to upload holiday photos and recipes.
In celebration of Christkindl Markt, there will be Christmas readings, musical performances and “how-to” holiday craft videos at https://rollachristkindlma.wixsite.com/music-festival.
Sandquist said several of Christkindl Markt’s traditional food vendors will be featured on different days in December as part of “Taste of Christkindl Markt.” This is a partnership with Public House Brewing in Rolla and other area restaurants with German food available for take-out and eat-in dining. “Taste of Christkindl Markt” times and locations will be publicized on the the Christkindl Markt web site, in local media and on Facebook.
To enter the Lichternacht “Light the Night” Holiday Decorating Contest, email email@example.com, go to their Facebook page, @RollaChristkindlMarkt, or visit the registration site at https://sites.google.com/view/ckmarktrolla/home.
For additional information on holiday events in the Rolla area go to the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce website, visitrolla.com.