PELLA, Iowa — After working on the idea for the past six years, Pella is launching a new Christmas season market. The idea came after a Pella resident took a trip to Europe a few years back.
“My spouse and I decided to take a trip to the Netherlands and explore specifically Dutch Christmas markets,” said Pella resident Lowell Olivier-Shaw. “We went to about 15 Christmas markets in the Netherlands over a few week period and explored what was unique about the Dutch Christmas markets compared to other Christmas markets in other countries.”
Olivier-Shaw came back with an idea: why could this not be done in Pella?
“In my trips to different parts of Europe … the Czech Republic was my first experience with a winter Christmas market,” said Olivier-Shaw. “I thought ‘wow, wouldn’t this be something to do in Pella,’ and looking at the Molengracht Plaza, I thought it would be a perfect venue for this.”
The event will be called Kerstmarkt Dutch Christmas Market. The planning took some effort. Some funds had to be raised, and the small wooden sheds were purchased to use for vendors to set up.
“In six years we wanted to make sure that it was kind of a wow factor for the community,” said Jill Vandevoort of the Pella Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We wanted to wait and do it properly.”
Kerstmarkt Dutch Christmas Market will take place Dec. 2-4 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A number of vendors will be coming from out of town. Local Pella businesses are excited to have a new attraction to bring visitors for the event and to stop in Pella.