Holiday staples open ahead of Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011

(Flickr/Christine Zenino)
About 65% of the vendors at Christkindlmarket come from Germany.

Some annual staples of the holiday season kick off in downtown Chicago Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The month-long German Christkindlmarket opens it's red and white striped awnings for business. Manager Maren Biester said it's the biggest German holiday market it in the country and attracts more than a million visitors a year.

"It's sort of a test market also for some German companies who are looking to see if they can enter the United States with their products and actually create jobs in the U.S.," Biester said.

She added one such business that used a successful run at Christkindlmarket to open up US headquarters is the German Christmas ornament company K├Ąthe Wohlfahrt.

Next to the market in Daley Plaza the Chicago holiday tree is being lit. It's a 55-foot spruce that was grown in suburban Western Springs.