TOMBALL, Texas – If you happen to find yourself just northwest of Houston, the Space City, during the second week of December, you might want to make the turn to Tomball. Here you’ll find a huge Christmas market that will make you think it’s still October.
Grady Martin is the founder of this festive festival that started in the 90’s. It brings together two things we can’t get enough of, Christmas and Christmas cheer.
“We tell people, it’s Weihnachtsmarkt, Texas style,” Grady said.
Turns out this Christmas market celebrates the holidays and the heavy population of Germans you’ll find here in the Lone Star State, because Octberfest was simply too long ago.
“In Germany everybody likes to get together and just, for family and friends and, so that’s what Christmas is and that’s kind of what Oktoberfest is,” Laura King of Magnolia said.
With an enormously European feel, the Tomball Weihnachtsmarkt is a chance to celebrate the holidays and heritage.
“Weihnachtsmarkt is just another way for the Germans to get together, celebrate the harvest, and reconnect with the extended family and the community,” said Duke Johann.
The day officially starts with a huge parade featuring everyone in their Christmas best, but you won’t find Santa on his sleigh to close out this procession. Instead this parade ends by tapping a Christmas keg. Once the official Christmas keg is tapped, the holiday celebration officially begins lederhosen and all.
As Krista Kuykendall points out, “Who doesn’t like drinking beer in December?”
With gifts, food, and all sorts of duetch diversions, you almost forget its Christmas time while enjoying the atmosphere of the Tomball Weihnachtsmarkt. Then you see that jolly old Saint Nicholas, the original big man in a red suite, and all of a sudden we are back to the holidays.
This Christmas celebration just happens to also be a cultural celebration; a chance to raise a glass to one of the many nationalities that has made Texas what it is today.
“Texas is made up of a diverse collection of ethnic backgrounds and I think everyone here in Texas should try to sample as much of the different ethnicities that make this state as great as it is,” Duke Johann Von Cleves said.
So toast to Texas with a trip to Tomball for the Weihnachtsmarkt. Well worth a stop on the Texas eimer liste, that’s German for Texas bucket list.
“You know, people might not know anything about German culture or Texas Germans, but they know a good German festival is fun, and they come. They experience the fun and they go away saying, ‘Well, you know, maybe those Germans aren’t so bad after all,” Grady said.