Old Prague Christmas Market
More than a thousand lights and a thousand gift ideas will be featured during the inaugural Old Prague Christmas Market on Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4. This unique event, presented by the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library brings festive outdoor holiday shopping to Cedar Rapids. Along Sixteenth Avenue in Czech Village, shoppers will find Midwest artisans and European importers along with hot food and beverages. Although, the festivities officially begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. officially opens the Market at the Kosek bandstand.
“The avenue will be lit up with lights, holiday decorations in store fronts, and colorful vendor booths filled with gifts and food for all ages. And, families will delight in visiting with Sv. Mikuláš, a Andel, and a Čert (St. Nicholas, the Angel, and the Devil) on Saturday, Dec. 4,” said, Jan Stoffer, operations manager of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.
Throughout Europe and in large American communities, outdoor shopping during the holiday season has become a popular destination for locals and tourists. Prague in the Czech Republic and Chicago, New York and Baltimore in the US are noted for their spectacular Christmas markets.
Gift ideas at the Old Prague Christmas Market will include dolls, sweaters, candy and toys from the Czech Republic; jewelry and scarves from Nepal; handmade rugs; fleece clothing; Russian gift items and ornaments; scented products; musical CDs; art from district artisans and more. Additionally, shoppers may enjoy hot chocolate; hot cider, hot apple pie drinks; Christmas Chowder; hot sandwiches; and homemade cookies. Also featured are horse-drawn wagon rides through historic New Bohemia neighborhood with Jan Stoffer.
A highlight of the event is the Annual Cookie Walk sponsored by the Guild of the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. The walk begins Saturday, Dec. 4, at 9:30 a.m., in the St. Wenceslaus Church Gymnasium, 1230 5th Street SE. Music and entertainment will be given throughout the morning.
GreatAmerica Leasing is sponsoring Old Prague Christmas Market. Other activities and events are as follows:
Friday, December 3rd • 5 - 8 p.m.
5-8 p.m. Merchant and food vendor booths open
5-8 p.m. Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides in the Neighborhood
5-5:30 p.m. Fire Juggling
5:30-6 p.m. Meister Singers from Jefferson High School
6-6:30 p.m. Czech Heritage Singers
6-6:30 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony – Kosek Bandstand
6:30-8 p.m. Fire Juggling
Saturday, December 4th • 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
9 a.m.-8 p.m. Merchant and food vendor booths open, Museum Gallery is open
9:30 a.m. NCSML Guild presents Annual Cookie Walk, St. Wenceslaus Church Gymnasium with entertainment throughout the morning.
9 a.m.-7 p.m. Horse-drawn Wagon Rides circulating between Czech Village, St. Wenceslaus Church (until 11:30 a.m.), and to the Cherry Building (1 - 5 p.m.)
10-10:30 a.m. St. Nicholas, the Angel and Devil walk-up the Avenue
10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. St. Nicholas, the Angel and Devil visit with children
at Kuncl Mall
Noon-3 p.m. Sleigh for family photos and live reindeer display
5-6 p.m. Fire Juggling
5-7 p.m. Fire Juggling
1-5 p.m. In New Bohemia, A Very Cherry Holiday