By Patricia Fua

Far, far away this year in Germany, at exactly 5:30 p.m., on the Friday before the first Advent Sunday there is a Christmas Angel who opens her special Christmas Market. This Christmas Angel recites a very serious proclamation announcing the opening of the Christmas Market. Afterwards there are warm drinks and cookies, good cheer and people visiting all of the street vendors to see and test their wares. This tradition has been going on since 1628.

Not going to Germany this year? How about celebrating in Ely the 5th Annual Christkindlesmark! The venue for this market will once again be in the Sculpture Park, 600 block of Aultman, downtown. The new giant 30-foot community Christmas tree will be waiting to be lit and at this moment the official beginning of the Christmas Season will truly be upon us!

As in previous years there will be treats and goodies, music and speeches, a chance to win prizes and visit with friends and family too! There will be entertainment and even Santa Claus for the children. The Christkindle and her entourage will be there this year and of course our Christkindle will read out loud the solemn city Proclamation.

At 4 p.m. on Nov. 29 the street vendors will be setting up and be getting ready to open. People will be waiting anxiously to visit these vendors and see all of the goodies for sale by our local non-profit groups. Christmas carols will cut through the chilly late afternoon and one by one you will see people gathering in our quaint downtown to celebrate this event. It will be an opportunity for you to support the 4-H, the WPHS Cheerleaders, the FBLA, the WPHS Band, the culinary students, the Ely Renaissance Society, the Citizens Against Child Hunger (CACH), as well as so many other organizations.

If you look carefully, you will probably see the Christkindle appear with her entourage in tow. Our Christkindle will make the Proclamation for the opening of the 2013 Ely Christkindlesmarkt. The program will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sculpture Park. After the program, keys for the Treasure Chest will be distributed. This is the only chance you have to get a map and a map of the participating merchants so you can find a treasure. At 7 p.m. Ely’s new Art Bank (399 Aultman) will have its grand opening. Stop in to see the Art Gallery and what the Renaissance Society has done to the old bank building.

Again this year many local merchants have joined in the fun by distributing “key” to visitors at the Christkindlesmarkt. These “key” then should be taken to the participating stores during the holiday season. Winning “key” will receive a prize.

What a great way to support our local merchants and our local nonprofit clubs, groups, and organization. Come on out and join in the fun. Start the holiday season with your friends around you and a proclamation made by Ely’s very own Christkindle reminding us all of the true spirit of the holiday. See you there!