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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Grand Rapids Christkindl Market is a spectacular way to celebrate the holiday season—if you don’t mind long lines and lots of people

Autumn VanSolkema
The lights and ornaments hanging on all the booths around the market

Walking through the glistening lights, hearing Christmas songs blaring over the loudspeaker, and smelling hot cocoa wafting through the air are the most festive of feelings. My senses captured these feelings at the Grand Rapids Christkindl Market that opened at the Downtown Market on Nov. 17.

I had seen many people who had gone and experienced the market, so I wanted to do the same. On Saturday night of the first weekend of December, I decided to go myself. However, it was not the best choice of a day to visit; because it was a weekend, the market was quite busy.

Once I arrived at the Christkindl Market, I was instantly overwhelmed by the massive amount of people bustling around. Walking around and through the two strips of the market was quite a task; market-goers were all around, making it difficult to maneuver.

When I finally was able to get to a clearing to read the signs on the booths and decide on what I wanted to eat for dinner, I went to wait in line for waffles. It took 30 minutes to get my food because only one man was working the entire booth, and the line was at least 35 people long. Nonetheless, it was delicious. It was a Belgian waffle covered in strawberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and powdered sugar.

The other stalls were not the best. They weren’t that exciting and didn’t draw me in, and they were expensive. There were a wide variety of booths, from mini-donuts to raclette (a type of cheese) sandwiches. But, I found most of the booths to be boring. There was a booth selling ornaments that weren’t very original, and there was a booth of just soup with nothing too special about it. 

One thing I did enjoy, however, was the ambiance of the Christmas season

Also, in the middle, there is a long covered area with tables, and in the center—once I got through all the people—there is a small little drink area where they serve hot cocoa, cider, and beer. One of the reasons many people are in line is because, for $10, they can get cider or hot cocoa and a Christkindl Market mini mug. Or, for $12, they can get a bigger mug. I, of course, wanted a mug, but the line was too lengthy to make waiting worth it.

With all the people, it was quite difficult to maneuver around the regular Downtown Market—the stores that are normally there. My mom and I waited for 50 minutes just to get four tacos. 

One thing I did enjoy, however, was the ambiance of the Christmas season. There are lights strung all across the market, so as I walked across the booths, I was under a canopy of shining lights. All of the stands were decorated with an assortment of ornaments and garlands. I felt specifically in the Christmas spirit with all the music that was playing across the market. 

If you would like to experience a Christmas market filled with lights, ornaments, and all the Christmas songs of the land, I suggest you head to the Christkindl Market and experience it for yourself before it closes on Dec. 23. 

However, I would strongly advise people to go on a weekday or night, so you can get the full experience without having to wait in many long lines. 

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About the Contributor
Autumn VanSolkema, Staff Writer
Autumn is a junior entering her first year on The Central Trend. She loves a good romance novel, but loves her corgi more. If she is not belting out Taylor Swift songs, she is teaching herself new songs on the guitar or ukulele. You can find her cheering on the sidelines of football games or coaching her little fourth-grade cheer team. Autumn has grown up loving the theatre, being both on the stage and in the audience. She has performed in many shows and regularly begs her parents to take her to New York again to see more Broadway productions. Autumn is an avid photographer, with her camera roll being filled with 19k+ photos over the last two years. Her least favorite things in the world: Balloons and Styrofoam. Her favorite musicalsWaitress and Mamma Mia Number of surgeries she's had: 7 Her favorite condiments: Mayo and Ranch Favorite season: Just like her name, it's autumn

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