This holiday season, Naper Settlement was pleased to host Christkindlmarket Naperville, which welcomed 208,000 visitors over the course of 21 days. The community embraced the beloved outdoor marketplace, where visitors could shop, eat and drink at 33 different German and European vendors.
“Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society are ecstatic over the success of Christkindlmarket Naperville and the positive economic impact it’s had on the community and downtown area,” said Rena Tamayo-Calabrese, Naper Settlement’s CEO and President. “Our own institution saw much more foot traffic in the month of December, and we hope the market continues at Naper Settlement as a cherished tradition and cultural amenity.”
Christkindlmarket attracted visitors from all over the Chicagoland area, including a few visitors from out of state: 60% of visitors were from the Western Suburbs, 12% were from South/Southwest Suburbs, 10% of visitors were from North/Northwest Suburbs, 5% were Illinois non-suburbs, 2% were from Chicago and 11% were out of state. Out of the visitor’s surveyed, 82% rated their experience at the market as excellent or very good and 78% said they were shopping and dining in other locations in downtown Naperville. Naperville’s Mayor, Steve Chirico, was impressed by the market’s ability to increase visitors to the city. “With three-quarters of Christkindlmarket visitors coming from outside the City, this event was the perfect opportunity to introduce them to Naperville,” said Mayor Chirico. “Not only did they experience the Christkindlmarket, but the vast majority also ate and shopped downtown, which benefits our entire community’s economy. We hope Naperville is now number one on their list to visit again and again.”
A favorite at the market were the apple cider donuts by Donut Lady, owned by Cissy Rallo, who also owns Page’s Restaurant in Hinsdale. Rallo says her time at Christkindlmarket Naperville exceeded her expectations.
“When I came to [Naper Settlement], I came in with the number of donuts I sold when I was at Christkindlmarket in Oakbrook and I turned out to be way unprepared,” said Rallo about the number of donuts she sold the first weekend. “We eventually figured out how many donuts to bring, but we weren’t expecting to sell as many as we did.”
Naper Settlement also offered a variety of their own holiday programs during Christkindlmarket. The popular children’s program, Santa at the Settlement, which took place on three Saturday mornings, saw
234 visits. Visitors were able to see a temporary glass ornament exhibit, made possible by local Naperville collectors, Gary and Ginger Fry, and sponsored by Ronald & Claudia Stenger. The Martin Mitchell Mansion Holiday Tours saw 860 tours, where visitors could explore the holiday-adorned mansion decorated in the Edwardian style of the 1910s. With the help of 140 volunteers, the market and programs were a great success and helped to support Naper Settlement as a strong economic engine for the city.
Naper Settlement would like to thank our supporting partners, in addition to German American Events, City of Naperville, Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise, Downtown Naperville Alliance, Naperville Development Partnership, Water Street District, Naperville Park District, Naperville Convention and Visitor Bureau and Stenger Group at Morgan Stanley.