Summer break has just begun, but plans are well under way for the third annual Carmel Christkindlmarkt, a German-inspired festival that fills the Center Green between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
One big change for 2019: Organizers do not expect to ask the City of Carmel to help fund the market.
“We have a budget and operational plan which do not include a grant from the city for the 2019 market,” said Maria Murphy, Carmel Christkindlmarkt CEO and market master. “We plan to present this budget to the board at our (June) board meeting for approval.”
The City of Carmel provided more than $400,000 to help launch the market in 2017, and in 2018 it granted $125,000. The city is expected to continue supporting the market in other ways, such as allowing it the use of Center Green and supplying street department workers for set up and tear down.
Murphy presented an overview of the 2018 Christkindlmarkt at the May 20 Carmel City Council meeting. She said the market welcomed double the number of guests in its second year, with 328,000 visitors generating total gross revenues of more than $2.2 million.
She said local business participation increased and an expanded layout improved the experience for guests.
“The strategic positioning of the new market features relieved the congested foot traffic issues that we saw in 2017,” Murphy said. “The 2018 market was easier to navigate and more welcoming to our visitors.”
Murphy also told the council that the market is believed to have contributed to an 8.8 percent increase in hotel room occupancy in November and December 2018 compared to the previous year.