For those who could withstand the frigid conditions at the 2nd Annual German Holiday Market in Brookfield, they were treated to variety of sights and sounds including traditional German dancing, crafts from local artists, and even an old fashioned hayride – sponsored by the Elmbrook Rotary Club.

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The event was held on Saturday, December 7th at the Brookfield Civic Center and was sponsored by area businesses including Wheaton Franciscan and BMO Harris Bank.

With over 20 vendors and plenty of German touches, the event offered a number of traditional German performances before and after the tree lighting at 4:50 p.m., along with several indoor activities, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

The holiday market is another opportunity for cultural exchange as part of their association with Brookfield's sister city, Seligenstadt in Germany. In organizing the first holiday market last year, the Sister City Committee had help from United Donauschwaben, an organization of ethnic Germans living in Wisconsin, to model it closely after traditional German markets. In recent years, Officials from the Brookfield and Seligenstadt have taken part in an exchange program, as have local students.

In addition to the food and crafts sold by vendors, Brookfield's Sister City Committee sold ornaments, and high school German clubs sold advent calendars and used German books.

Elmbrook Rotarians Linda Edelstein and Club President, Gary Zwirlein helped coordinate the Club’s sponsorship of the hayride along with volunteers from the Club. "We were glad to help out with this festive and cultural event in being a first-year sponsor," said Zwirlein. He added, “We hope this becomes an annual tradition for the Club.”