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Thorne: Every annual tradition has its beginning

BARRINGTON – Let’s just say I may want to camp out in Barirngton this weekend. There’s so much going on!

I might look a little silly picking up some reindeer antlers or climbing aboard a Barrington fire truck at the Foundry on Saturday, or even more awkward reading Santa my wish list at the Ice House Mall, but I cannot wait for ChristKindlFest.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s because the German American festival has never hit Barrington – until now. I had the opportunity to peek behind the scenes and sit in on a ChristKindlFest planning meeting last week, where the Barrington Breakfast Rotary and Barrington Village Association filled me in on all the fun.

Anyone attending the festival this year will have the opportunity to say, “I remember my first Barrington ChristKindlFest.” The planning committee has spent years mapping out the logistics, and it doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. Barrington ChristKindlFest is intended to begin an annual tradition of community gathering during the holiday season.

Barrington Village Association member Doug Skor said he came up with the idea for Barrington ChristKindlFest about five years ago when he was working in Germany on a regular basis. Skor saw how the outdoor German festivals would draw entire communities together for days on end.

Skor said the BVA always has been looking for a third event to compliment Uncork Barrington and the Barrington Farmers Market, and a ChristKindlFest fit all community-centered criteria.

ChristKindlFest is to be held downtown in the Harris Bank parking lot from Friday through Sunday, and likely will expand into a more lengthy festival in years following.

The town’s new German American festival is set to operate much like the Christkindlmarket of Chicago at the Daley Plaza, drawing crowds and making a name for itself. The ChristKindlFest will feature 25 entertainment acts, kid’s rides, live reindeer, craft beer and wine, five food vendors and about 10 retailers.

Most intriguing to me – outdoor heaters! I’m looking forward to a warm drink, live entertainment and the opportunity to visit with the many familiar faces I’ve come to know so well. As always, here’s a cheers to new beginnings and the evergrowing traditions of Barrington.

See our full story about the event on page 14.

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