Market Square puts on its Yuletide flair
Oh, if only every day for Brianna Schultz, 2, could be like Tuesday.
It started with hours of watching Cartoon Network at home, then moved to Market Square where she had a chance meeting with Santa Claus.
“Tell him what you want for Christmas, Bree,” her mother, Brenda Schultz called out, trying steady her iPhone for a postcard-perfect shot.
Only St. Nick wasn't the only attraction there.
Pittsburgh's Market Square usually is the place where business folk and other Downtown wheeler-dealers go to nosh on lunch and maybe unwind, if the weather's OK.
But this week, and for several weeks to come, it'll be where Yinzer culture meets Euro Yuletide.
Peoples Natural Gas has transformed Market Square into a European-style village reminiscent of a 16th-century German Christkindlmarkt.
Santa was there, along with his elves, a guitar band, scores of Christmas vendors who offered old-world collectibles and gift items from Germany, Russia, Poland and other parts of Europe. No Christmas scene would be complete without a tree; the one here stands 33 feet and is made of silver globes.
“Things are supposed to be pretty and festive during Christmas. This is what the Christmas spirit is all about,” said Schultz, 32, of Mt. Lebanon.
The market started Nov. 24. Officials for Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership say they were inspired by the original Christkindlmarkt, created in 1545 in Nuremberg, Germany, and the popular Christkindlmarket in Chicago.
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership hopes the strategy can lure more shoppers — and the downright curious — to the Downtown area.
Maria Athanas does, too.
She runs Little Bavaria, a booth that sells Helmut's Strudel pastries, the popular Austrian-made pretzels and baked goods. Her apple and apricot strudels generally have sold well, though hot apple cider and bratwursts also have been catching some people's attention, as daytime temperatures earlier in the week hovered near freezing.
Janice Levitsky wasn't too far away, rolling a cup of warm cider in her hands.
“It's great to see Market Square come alive like this,” said Levitsky, 42, of Castle Shannon.
Ida D'Errico, a spokeswoman for Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, says the Christmas market is here to stay; the plan is to continue it every year during the holiday season.
One by one people stopped by the glittery booth run by Nancy Krautz, a student from Cottbus, Germany. Many left with bagfuls of hand-painted tree ornaments made by Mario Hausdoerferm, a renowned glass-blower from Haselbach, Germany. Many featured evocative Christmas scenes of quaint cottages, tiny reindeer and peaceful snow-covered forestlands.
Also making their way to Market Square will be glass Christmas pickles, a quirky Yuletide tradition that was dreamed up in America but has been associated with Germany.
“People I think really appreciate this kind of culture, even during the holidays,” Krautz says.
Chris Ramirez is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5682.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.