After attracting 450,000 visitors last year, Christkindlmarket Milwaukee will return to the public plaza adjoining Fiserv Forum this holiday season, the Milwaukee Bucks announced Wednesday.
The 40-day German holiday festival will take place Nov. 15 through Dec. 24. Organizers promise an increase in vendors over last year’s event, which included 30 vendors selling holiday-themed decor, European and German food, hot spiced wine and beer.
The announcement did not disclose the number of vendors planned for this year’s festival and the Bucks did not immediately respond to calls for additional comment.
Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, several Bucks employees had said plans were in the works to expand Christkindlmarket’s footprint.
“If you came down on a Saturday afternoon last year, it was busy,” Fiserv Forum general manager Raj Saha told BizTimes Milwaukee during an interview earlier this month. “We were still building out Good City Brewing, Punch Bowl Social and The Mecca (Sports Bar and Grill). A lot of that construction fencing will have gone away, so naturally some space will open up as a result of that.”
Behind the festival is Chicago-based nonprofit German American Events LLC, which started Christkindlmarket in 1996 in Chicago and launched a second location in nearby suburb Naperville in 2016. Last year, the three market locations collectively drew more than 1.9 million visitors, according to the announcement.
Christkindlmarket Chicago, alone, attracts more than one million visitors annually.
German American Events is subsidiary of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest.
Christkindlmarket Milwaukee’s hours of operations are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It will be open on Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) and Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission to the festival is free and open to the public.