DES MOINES – The 7th Christkindlmarket Des Moines kicks off Thursday evening at 5:00.

The four-day market at Principal Park features traditional European food, drinks, and vendors. There will also be heritage craft demonstrations.

Suzanne Hull, the Christkindlmarket Des Moines’ Director, said that the market is a chance for people to explore the origin of Christmas traditions and European culture.

“The value for producing this festival for Iowans and Midwesterners to enjoy is providing them an outlet to connect with their own European background,” Hull said, “My great grandparents or great great grandparents came over pre-Cvil War and I was always thinking we have all these traditions but why do we do them why do we still do them where do they come from.”

With support from sponsors, the market is free for everyone to attend. Hull said that there will be demonstrations from craftsmen showing how certain traditional Christmas gifts are made.

“What folks might see at our festival our Christkindlmarket here in Des Moines that’s different than others around the US is our focus on the heritage crafts and showing folks through demonstrations how the things that they purchase and used to purchase 750 years ago were actually made, so they have a tinsmith on site, a glass blower and a number of other demonstrations that people can enjoy during the four-day event,” Hull said.

The market runs from 5 pm-9 pm Thursday night, 11 am-9 pm Friday and Saturday, and 11 am-5 pm on Sunday.

To learn more about the Christkindlmarket Des Moines check out their website.