Carmel cancels Christkindlmarkt, ice skating due to coronavirus concerns

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Carmel has canceled its annual Christkindlmarkt as well as ice skating at the city’s outdoor skating rink due to concerns about the continued spread of the coronavirus.

The two winter attractions drew more than 300,000 people to the northern Indianapolis suburb over a four-month period last winter, the city said.

City officials and the Christkindlmarkt Board of Directors announced the German-themed market’s cancelation and the elimination of this year’s skating season at the Ice at Carter Green ice rink Tuesday afternoon, even though they are months away.

“It might seem strange to be making this announcement in July, but due to the great deal of advance work needed to install the ice rink and to work with Christkindlmarkt vendors and suppliers, we needed to act sooner, rather than later,” Dan McFeely, president of the Christkindlmarkt Board of Directors, said in a written statement.

Both events were scheduled to begin in mid-November, with the Christkindlmarkt running through Christmas Eve. Ice skating at the Ice at Carter Green was originally scheduled to run through March.

McFeely said deciding to cancel the attractions now will save the city thousands of dollars.

Alternatives to the market and rink are still being considered by the city and its partners, and the Christkindlmarkt’s board is working to offer popular merchandise online and at a local retail store.

Those events weren’t the only cancellations announced Thursday. Artomobilia, Art of the Dog, Carmel on Canvas, Late Night on Main, Chinese Mooncake Festival, Music on the Monon, Oktoberfest, Holiday at Carter Green and Holiday in the Arts District have also been canceled due to concerns about the pandemic.

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12 thoughts on “Carmel cancels Christkindlmarkt, ice skating due to coronavirus concerns

    1. If I recall correctly, the city provided funding to support security and the property used for the event. They were a sponsor as well.

    2. We/city gave them a subsidy, paid all the bills, used paid city labor, and they kept the income then announced they were in the black. City Council gave lip service to a full accounting but never happened. Just like the hotel

  1. Smart move. We’ll probably be in the middle of the 2nd wave by then, and the city would likely have to pay penalties for a last minute cancellation.

    1. They may be looking at models that the rest of us have not found out about yet and are listening to science, and not wishing to put more people in harm’s way. Mid-November could be a disaster like it was in the 1918 pandemic

  2. In previous years, Christkindlmarkt poobahs fell all over themselves reporting attendance and revenue estimates as soon as the seasons ended.

    Not so in 2020. We still don’t know those numbers but did learn the ice skating venue took in less in 2019 than 2018.

    Novelty has a way of wearing off. Fast.

  3. This is a cost cutting move….using COVID as they way to save face….this year at least…but I DID enjoy it…the first 2 years! It kinda did wear off after that….but I have those MUGS!

  4. It’s a tragedy to have to cancel the amazing and incredible Christkindlmarkt and the ice skating rink. It’s been a huge boom to the city and so much fun for the kids and families. It is such a unique and amazing venue… it’s got to recover & continue next year. I think with precautions it still could have gone this year… even if in a negative income situation… as having it promotes the entire city and region and the restaurants and neighboring businesses .. Oliver’s Twist, thé Cake Bake, InCycle and so many close in proximity. I’m sure it was a difficult decision & if I was in the committee I would have voted a different course. But we will miss it this year & then celebrate its return next year!! I love the city planners that conceived of the idea… it puts our incredible Palladium in the spotlight as it’s in its backyard… people see the uniqueness and incredibleness of Carmel through the venues on its doorsteps.

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