Opening the day after Thanksgiving and going through Christmas Eve, the traditional German market welcomed over 80,000 visitors, exceeding all expectations.
“We had expected somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 and that’s more or less what we got the first weekend. But really the other part of it is we’ve been able to welcome other communities and other neighbors. About 84 percent of the people that are coming to the Christkindlmarket are coming from outside the city of Naperville,” said President and CEO of Naper Settlement, Rena Calabrese.
And about 60 percent of those visiting also shopped or dined somewhere else in Downtown Naperville.
Housed in Naper Settlement, the market also served as a way to explore some of Naperville’s heritage.
“The city has some very deep German roots, so the ability to actually bring some of that right back into our community is first and foremost because it fits our mission, and it also gathers the community the way that Carolyn Martin Mitchell wished this property would be used,” said Calabrese.
While they do not have an exact estimate of the amount of money spent, many vendors at Christkindlmarket in Naperville had days where they outsold their Chicago counterpart.
Market organizers and Naper Settlement are currently in negotiations to hold Christkindl again next year, possibly with an expanded layout.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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