Charlotte Christmas Village will be bigger and better in year two — but still no wooden huts

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Charlotte Christmas Village will once again transform Romare Bearden Park into a European-style Christmas market from November 23 through December 24.

It features handmade artisan goods, live performances and traditional holiday food and drink like strudels and mulled wine.

The free community festival launched last year with a strong turn out despite controversy over the size and style of the market.

An estimated 75,000 visitors attended the inaugural month-long event but many voiced complaints over the limited number of vendors and the use of plastic tents instead of traditional wooden huts.

Organizers Paul Claus and Dena Bruton-Claus (yeah, like Santa) have solved at least one of those problems in year two. They’ve nearly doubled the size of the market, adding 13 new vendors to the lineup for the 2017 season.

But the wooden huts will still have to wait.

The hang up has to do with city and county fire regulations that will require each hut to be built with non-flammable materials. “We’re so encouraged by the support of the county and Center City Partners have shown in moving towards those huts,” Bruton-Claus said, “but it’s a long-term project.”

That means you should be ready for more tents for a while.

Related story: Stop freaking out about how the Charlotte Christmas Village isn’t good enough

To accommodate more vendors in 2017, the Charlotte Christmas Village will be moving to the park’s lower field.

There will be 13 new vendors joining the returning vendors (all but 2 from the original event are back) for a total of 29 tents.

They’ll be selling everything from handcrafted gifts and holiday decor to live Christmas trees, wreaths and garland.

On the food front, 5Church will be back with its German sausage tent along with several other vendors serving Austrian strudel, fresh-baked mini doughnuts, soft pretzel twists, handmade candies, nuts and more.

And adult beverages are covered on all fronts with cider from Red Clay, beer from Blue Blaze and wine and gluwhein from Dover Vineyards.

Festivities kick off November 23 immediately following the Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In addition to the vendor booths, Charlotte Christmas Village will feature live performances and special events throughout the month, including trivia nights, holiday brunch, arts and crafts for kids and appearances from Santa himself.

The village will open daily at 11 a.m. Tuesday – Sunday through Christmas Eve. It closes at 7 p.m. Tuesday/Wednesday, 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday.

Alcohol sales begin at 3 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. Saturdays and noon Sundays.

Follow Charlotte Christmas Village’s social channels for updates to the performance schedule.

Header photo via Facebook

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Katie Levans Loveluck
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Co-Founder and Creative Director