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Chicago’s Christkindlmarket is 3rd Best Christmas Market in the World, List Says – NBC Chicago

One of Chicago’s most beloved Christmas traditions is getting some world recognition.

A newly released list from the Global travel site Big 7 just ranked the “The 50 Best Christmas Markets in the World,” weighing factors like vendor variety, food, entertainment, local traditions and more.

Coming at No. 3 on the list? Chicago’s very own Christkindlmarket.

Last year, Chicago’s Christkindlmarket earned the top spot in Big 7’s Top 25 Christmas Markets in the US This year however, the ranking spans across the globe.

“While Europe may be the spiritual home of the traditional Christmas market, main squares, shopping malls and sports fields across the world are already transforming into winter wonderlands, complete with twinkling lights, alpine-inspired stalls and towering Christmas trees, accompanied by the lingering aroma of cinnamon and mulled wine,” Big 7’s 2022 ranking says.

This year, the market — which includes traditional German and European live music along with festive shopping, food and drinks — has three Chicago-area locations: Wrigleyville, Chicago, and Aurora, about an hour’s drive from the city. Each location features different events, entertainment and musical performances.

And every year, Christkindlmarket-goers can always head home with a collectible souvenir: a holiday mug.

For 2022, the mug comes in a curved shape and features a scene of people holding hands, celebrating the wintertime at the market. According to organizers, it draws inspiration from Chicago’s “Year of Dance” celebration, a city-wide focus on the industry that has been unfolding throughout the year.

In its skyline backdrop, the mug highlights iconic landmarks. Sites like the Marina Towers, Willis Tower, Hotel Zachary and Paramount Theater can be spotted.

The market also rolled out its mug dedicated to non-alcoholic beverages. This year’s character is a dancing penguin dressed in a traditional German dress.

Christkindlmarket in Chicago is the only Christmas market in North America to make Big 7’s top 10.

Here are the Christmas markets that round out the global list’s top 10:

  1. Winter Wonders – Brussels, Belgium
  2. Gendarmenmarkt – Berlin, Germany
  3. Chicago Christmas Market – Chicago, United States
  4. Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market – Birmingham, UK
  5. Christmas Village Belvedere Palace – Vienna, Austria
  6. Striezelmarket – Dresden, Germany
  7. Krakow Christmas Market – Krakow, Poland
  8. Galway Continental Christmas Market – Galway, Ireland
  9. Zagreb Advent – ​​Zagreb, Croatia
  10. Sibiu Christmas Market – Sibiu, Romania

See the full list here.

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