GACO participates in Christmas market

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***For the third year, the German-American Community Office participates in the Kaiserslautern Christmas market. From noon to 9 p.m. Thursday, GACO employees present American music groups, singers and dancers at a stage on Schillerplatz,

“The first two years we had to look for American performers, and this year performers approached us and asked if we would let them be a part of our event,” said Sissi Koesling from GACO. “And Germans who visited us at the last two markets keep asking about specific American groups such as the gospel choir.”

Again, the U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern brings its Kiddie Train, which offers children free rides.

“Also, Santa Claus will makes his appearance to welcome visitors,” said Mrs. Koesling.

The following is a schedule of performers:

Noon: Ramstein American Middle School Band
1 p.m.: Jazz Limited, the Ramstein American High School Jazz Band
2 p.m.: Five Star Brass Quintet of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band
3 p.m.: Tasha Perkins, Rhonda Bemen, Ellen Fitts-Maddaloney, a capella singers
4 p.m.: Ramstein American High School Step Team
4:45 p.m.: MoKiTa, American tap dance
5 p.m.: El Ballet Folklorico Mexicano, dance and guitars
6 p.m.: Palz Pepper, barbershop music
6:30 p.m.: Audience of One, acoustic band
7:30 p.m.: Mixed Choir and Young Choir Rehweiler
8 p.m.: Vogelweh Gospel Choir

The Kaiserslautern Christmas expands from Schillerplatz to Stiftskirche through

Dec. 22. It consists of more than 40 little wooden houses and booths decorated with fir tree garlands and light bulbs.

Vendors sell typical Christmas items such as ornaments, candles, angels, nutcrackers and Advent wreaths. Shoppers find ideas for Christmas presents such as wooden toys, leather items, glass products, jewelry and pottery. Culinary specialties include Thüringer bratwurst, pizza, roasted chestnuts, cinnamon waffles and the typical winter drink, “glühwein,” a heated red wine spiced with cloves and cinnamon sticks.

Every day from 1 to 7 p.m., Christmas market goers can become amateur stone-masons and carve their names into stone pillars.

A daily entertaining program is presented from a stage on Schillerplatz. Sunday, from 3 to 4 p.m., the Catholic Ramstein North Chapel Choir present English, French and German Christmas music.

The full program can be found in flyers laid out in stores, restaurants, banks and the tourist information office next to the Fruchthalle.

Every Wednesday from 4 to 4:30 p.m. Santa Claus makes his appearance and reads fairy tales to children. On Santa Claus Day, Wednesday, he comes in his horse carriage and passes out gifts from 5 to 6 p.m.

Kaiserslautern’s sister cities – Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Pleven, Bulgaria; Saint Quentin, France; and Silkeborg, Denmark, display typical items of their countries.

The Kaiserslautern Christmas market is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays.