What has become a tradition for countless Chicago families had its beginnings in 1996 on Michigan Avenue’s Pioneer Court with only 13 vendors. It was created as a way to further trade between the United States and Germany. The next year, it moved to Daley Plaza where it has flourished every year since, with well over 50 vendors. In the audio clip below, Leila Schmidt, senior manager for marketing for German-American Events, the event organizer for the Christkindl Markets, tells WGN’s Steve Alexander a Wrigleyville location was added five years ago, and Aurora’s began two years ago. Schmidt says the market has become a holiday tradition for thousands of Chicago area families, and every effort is made to replicate the original German markets with the same kinds of food (schnitzel, etc.) and drinks one would find at a European market. The Daley Plaza market is open through December 24th; the Wrigleyville market (next to Wrigley Field), is open daily until December 31st, and the market at Riveredge Park in Aurora is open Thursdays through Sundays until December 24th.

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