Author Archives: Suzanne Hull

BySuzanne Hull

Action Electric | Platinum Sponsor

We’re pleased to announce that Action Electric has come on board as a Platinum Sponsor!

Christmas markets wouldn’t be the same without the wooden vendor stalls. And the vendor stalls wouldn’t be the same without lights. That’s where Action Electric comes in. They will be installing the electrical in a number of our vendor stalls.

 

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Action Electric has provided quality electrical services in the State of Iowa for both Commercial and Residential customers for over 25 years.

They are a family business, owned and operated by Randy, Lori, and Chad Mease with combined electrical experience of 60 years. As a family business, they realize your time is valuable and strive to honor all set appointment times. Their focus is on customer satisfaction, and they continually strive to deliver fair pricing on all services. They offer:

  • Free Estimates
  • Senior Discounts
  • References
  • 1 Year Parts & Labor Warranty
  • Licensed – Bonded – Insured
BySuzanne Hull

DMEHA/CDM Lunch & Learns

Bring your lunch and we’ll meet in the DSM Central Library’s 2nd floor study rooms (1000 Grand Ave, Des Moines) to talk about Des Moines European Heritage Association, Christkindlmarket Des Moines and all the ways you can be involved.

These standing meetings are scheduled for the 3rd Tuesday of every month from noon – 1pm. We hope to see you there!

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Des Moines European Heritage Association connects Iowans with European traditions, language education and cultural experiences; and it provides resources and tools to other cultural heritage organizations.

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BySuzanne Hull

Experience France: A Wine and Food Tasting

Order tickets via Eventbrite

 

Experience the flavors of France at an exclusive wine and food tasting hosted by VOM FASS to benefit Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA).

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This private event features samples of 4-5 French wines selected by certified sommelier Jeff Yanecek of Okoboji Wines. Enjoy French-inspired small bites prepared by VOM FASS owner Melissa Bartholomew, farmhouse cheeses from The Cheese Shop and VOM FASS vinegars and oils paired with artisanal breads from La Mie.

VOM FASS Des Moines is locally owned and offers exclusive cask-aged vinegars, exquisite oils, unique spirits and liqueurs direct from the cask, as well as select wines which may be sampled at the shop. The shop opened March 2012 and is celebrating its four-year anniversary.

Ample parking is available in the front and rear of The Shops at Roosevelt with convenient front and rear access into the store.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Des Moines European Heritage Association and the production of their signature event, Christkindlmarket Des Moines, taking place this December 2–4 in Western Gateway Park. Additionally, ten percent of all VOM FASS product sales during the event will be donated to DMEHA.

Spots are limited, so purchase your tickets today.

When:

WhereVOM FASS Des Moines – 833 42nd Street, Des Moines, IA 50312 – View Map

BySuzanne Hull

Market Magic: The Multi-Sensory Experience of a European Christmas

Doug Whittle mugDoug Whittle is president and owner of his consulting and training company, Whittle Consulting Group LLC. He and his wife Dianne live in Urbandale and share a passion for the traditions of European Christmas celebrations. Their extensive European travels have included multiple Christmas seasons in Germany where they have attended hundreds of Christkindlmarkets in villages and cities throughout Germany. Doug brings his business expertise, his German heritage, and his love of all-things Christmas to his work as an active volunteer with the Des Moines European Heritage Association (DMEHA) in bringing the first-ever Christkindlmarket to Des Moines in 4-6, 2016.

Speak with anyone who has ever experienced a European Christmas celebration, and chances are you will notice their eyes light up, their energy level rise…and any attempts to switch them to another topic will become one of your greatest challenges. Regardless of the country where it’s held or the name of the actual multi-day celebration, Christmas in Europe casts a seemingly magical spell over its participants through a multi-sensory experience that you will taste, smell, and feel in the weeks and months that follow the event.

The first thing you will notice about Christmas in Europe is that it’s not limited to one single day on a calendar. Instead, villages, cities, and regions across Europe host outdoor celebrations that can range from a 3-day weekend to a full month, with many of them staying open through noon on Christmas Eve. The “markets” as they are commonly referenced, date all the way back to Middle Ages. They are open-air community events typically held in the town square of small villages and in multiple locations scattered throughout larger cities. In Berlin, for instance, there are as many as 70 outdoor markets taking place simultaneously. There are even markets set up outside the train stations and airports in Germany. Young and old alike gather in celebrations that reflect the unique heritage and customs of a particular country or region through food and drink, dances and processions, costumes, crafts, and ceremonies.

In every market, you will find yourself surround by the towering beauty of centuries-old buildings and cathedrals. The market area literally glows at night from flickering candles and torches and thousands of twinkling lights strung among evergreen-decorated wooden market stalls, yesterday’s version of today’s “pop-up” stores. The stalls are small huts made of wood that are typically arranged in rows. In some villages, these huts are the same ones that were used 100 or more years ago. The number of stalls varies by the size of the market. The Nurnberg market boasts over 200 stalls, including a special market area set aside just for children.

Walk through the rows of huts and be prepared for a multi-sensory experience for the eyes, ears, nose and taste buds! Music from choirs and small brass bands blends with the laughter and chatter of people gathered in jovial conversations. Regional foods are freshly prepared while you inhale the tantalizing aromas of cheese-covered noodles, savory meats roasted over open fires, cinnamon and sugar-coated nuts, picture-perfect desserts and candies dipped in kettles of dark, melted chocolate, freshly-baked pastries and breads, and hot, simmering alcohol-laced drinks, the most famous of which is the German mulled wine called Gluwhein.

Scattered among the food and beverage huts are vendors displaying and selling a vast array of items that can range from candles and soaps, to delicate lace and hand blown glass, to wood and metal objects of art. Most items are hand-crafted and reflect the unique heritage of that geographic region. It is not unusual to meet a vendor who represents several generations of a family-generated craft.

You will purchase beautiful hand-knit caps, mittens, scarves, and sweaters to keep you warm in the crisp December air as you walk through the rows of stalls. In one stall, you will see hundreds of delicate, glittering hand-blown glass ornaments for your tree. The next stall might be filled with intricate hand-carved wooden arches, pyramids, nutcrackers, smokers, angels, and stars. Another stall will be draped with lighted, multi-dimensional paper stars in intense colors and intricate designs meant for hanging in your entryway or windows. If you’re looking for the children on your Christmas list, you will have a hard time choosing between the stuffed animals, hand-carved wooden puzzles, mechanical wind-up toys, beautiful dolls, delicate to-scale doll house furniture, and colorful illustrated books.

But just so you know, the key rule of shopping at these markets is this: If you like it, buy it! Because some of the markets are so large, you may have difficulty relocating the specific stall when you decide to go back to buy. And for certain, as you move from region to region, you will find entirely different crafts and foods.

In every market, you will find ample opportunities for live entertainment. It might be a local children’s choir that performs on the central stage set up on the steps of a cathedral. It could be a 4-person brass band playing traditional Christmas music. Other towns may feature dancers in traditional costumes. Street entertainers can range from puppet shows to mimes to magic. Most towns have an opening ceremony that heralds the beginning of the market and some villages even have an opening parade that showcases the local customs, costumes, and heritage. By the way, when you start feeling the chill of the crisp December air as you partake in all of these outdoor activities, you can rest and warm up inside the beautiful churches and cathedrals while you listen to vocal and organ concerts.

In the weeks and months ahead, join me as I take you on a word-and-picture tour of just a few of the many German markets my family and I have experienced over the years, including Nurnberg, Regensburg, Seiffen, Dresden, and Leipzig.

Better yet—come join the team of volunteers who will be bringing the first-ever Christkindlmarket to Des Moines on December 2-4, 2016. Whether you have actually experienced a market yourself or if you’re simply intrigued and want to make this a reality for Iowa, we need your talent, your energy, and your participation.

If you’re interested in joining us, message the Christkindlmarket Des Moines Facebook Page or send Suzanne Hull an email (christkindlmarketdsm@gmail.com).

As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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BySuzanne Hull

Meet Your Event Planning Committee Members | Anna VanWaardhuizen

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an Illinois native living in Des Moines while attending Drake University. I’m a junior studying public relations with a concentration in leadership development. I also work on campus and serve as president for our chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. In my free time, I love showing off Des Moines to visiting family and friends, reading mystery novels and binge-watching as many Netflix episodes as I can fit in one night.

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Why are you involved with Christkindlmarket Des Moines?

I was looking for a way to get more experience in the various aspects of public relations and marketing. I found the Des Moines European Heritage Association through my school and thought it would be a great fit. Now I get to learn more about European culture, event planning and marketing. Even better, I get to help produce an event that showcases just how special Des Moines is.

Why should people become involved?

There are practically endless reasons to get involved. First, the group planning the Christkindlmarket Des Moines has a contagious excitement. The passion of our volunteers shows how important this event will be when it comes to Des Moines. Second, what better way to bring a little more culture to our city? Lastly, there are so many ways to get involved. There’s an opportunity for everyone, from donating, sponsoring, planning or even just attending.

 

As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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BySuzanne Hull

Meet Your Event Planning Committee Members | Theresa Edman

Tell us about yourself.

I moved to Des Moines 3 years ago after living most of my life in Minnesota. I currently work as a paralegal and enjoy attending live music events with my boyfriend and exploring all the hidden gems Des Moines has to offer.

Why are you in Christkindlmarket?

I wanted to find a way to get involved in my new community, and when I found out about Christkindlmarket Des Moines, I knew I had found the right project for me! It combines my love of community service, my strong interest in European language and culture, and the excitement of being a part of something that is sure to become a much-loved mainstay of this community!

Why should people become involved?

You should get involved if you want to contribute to the growing, vibrant community of Des Moines by working on the first ever Christkindlmarket in the city. If you are interested in European culture, either through your own ancestry or through travel experience, and want to both learn more about it and share that interest with the community, I encourage you to get involved. We’d love to have you on board!

As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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BySuzanne Hull

Meet Your Event Planning Committee Members | Carissa Stout

Tell us about yourself.

I am a musician and teacher who loves to travel. I taught band and general music in Berlin, Germany, for four years prior to moving to Des Moines in 2014. I have enjoyed discovering all that Des Moines has to offer!

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Why are you involved with Christkindlmarket Des Moines?

While living in Germany, I found the Christmas markets to be the most magical thing about the long, dark winters there. The festive atmosphere of a Christmas market puts me much more in the Christmas spirit than an overcrowded shopping mall around the holidays. I am excited to help bring some an amazing tradition to Des Moines!

Why should people become involved?

You should get involved if you want to try something new and help bring an exciting, cultural event to Des Moines!

As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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BySuzanne Hull

Meet Your Event Planning Committee Members | Gintare “G” Kelley

Tell us about yourself.

I am originally from Lithuania and now I live in Clive, Iowa, with my husband and our two boys. 

Why are you involved with Christkindlmarket Des Moines?

With each year passing I appreciate my European roots more and more.  I got involved with Christkidlmarket Des Moines because I loved the idea of authentic European traditions getting carried out in Iowa. For me it was a way to learn about organizing an event, getting involved in our community, and meeting some amazing like-minded people along the way!

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Why should people become involved?

The real question is why not get involved?!  This has never been done in the Des Moines area! The event has a long tradition of successfully bringing joy to communities all over the world so why not here? Our community deserves it!  Whether you are a sponsor, a vendor or just want to donate and support us that way, it’s a great way to be part of something special, to educate our community and bring some European flavor to our holidays!
As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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BySuzanne Hull

Drake University Sponsors Christkindlmarket Des Moines

Des Moines European Heritage Association is pleased to announce that the Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2016 Christmas Tree will be sponsored by Drake University. For those of you familiar with European-style Christmas markets, you’ll know that the Christmas tree is an integral focal point of these event and a long-standing tradition.

The mission of Drake University’s Department of World Languages and Cultures is to provide students with opportunities to develop functional competence in a language other than English and to foster the development of globally responsible students.

In doing so, they emphasize the development of speaking skills, cultural understanding, and responsible global citizenship. Their students also focus on all other aspects of developing language skills for communicative purposes. Many of their students study abroad, obtain employment with companies that have international interests, earn scholarships, and attend graduate school in areas that incorporate their language abilities.

They currently offer courses in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish. Students who study abroad and complete their certificate program are able to obtain transcriptable evidence of their cultural and linguistic competence. Those interested in teaching a language can obtain an endorsement through Drake’s School of Education. Students who excel in their language studies are also able to join a national honor society that recognizes their excellence and actively promotes language learning in a variety of ways throughout the academic year. Many languages also have weekly conversation tables available even for those not enrolled in classes.

We are proud to partner with Drake University to produce Christkindlmarket Des Moines 2016!

As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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BySuzanne Hull

Meet Your Event Planning Committee Members | Carrie Gosnell

Tell us about yourself.

I am a math nerd by trade and a world traveler and tap dancer by night. I’ve always had diverse interests, as my teacher mother instilled in me an excitement of learning. I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe for the first time at the age of 13. I learned the German language for fun as an elective in college, and I was able to fit in a semester abroad in Salzburg, Austria. Since that experience, I have been addicted to world travel and would call myself a citizen of the world.

PFG Carrie Gosnell Headshot

Why are you in Christkindlmarket Des Moines?

When I met people in Europe, I found out that we had so much in common. In reality, it only makes sense, since I am 100% European descent. (50% Danish & 25% German with some other stuff mixed in)  However, I don’t always acknowledge how much those roots have influenced our family traditions we have today. I’m excited to make some of those connections, for me and for other European descended Americans, by bringing something so European to our community.

Why should people become involved?

It’s easy to become isolated from the rest of the world in a country as large and diverse as the United States. Yet the world is so beautiful and full of opportunities to share and learn about each other. By participating in Christkindlmarket Des Moines, you will be sharing an experience with people who do the same thing in countries all over the world and has been going on for over 500 years. You will be a part of a worldwide tradition.

As a grassroots non-profit, Des Moines European Heritage Association serves as a platform to carry on European traditions, support language education and to create cultural awareness. We are a resource for Iowans, immigrants, travel enthusiasts and international business professionals to connect with European cultural heritage and for cultural organizations who want to engage with their members in a cohesive and centralized manner.

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