The Herndon WinterMarkt 2023 showcased the charm of a European Christmas and drew just under a reported 12,000 visitors to the town's historic downtown on Saturday, Dec. 9. The one-day market, which opened at noon, took place at the intersection of Lynn and Station streets and aimed to highlight the town's diversity and that of the neighboring D.C. metro area.
The family-oriented event, with hands-on activities for children, boasted 52 vendors, a packed entertainment schedule, and activities for all ages. Alte Washintonia Alpen Horns provided the opening fanfare for WinterMarkt. The George Mason University Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble followed along with other musical acts until the 7 p.m. closing.
“It brings so many people, not just from our community but from as far as Pennsylvania. It's incredible,” said Keven LeBlanc, chairman of the WinterMarkt committee. LeBlanc is also a Town of Herndon councilmember.
LeBlanc welcomed the audience to the market on behalf of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, the WinterMarkt Committee, and the event sponsors, among them Platinum Sponsor Northwest Federal Credit Union and the Town of Herndon, as well as all the volunteers who made the day possible.
Northwest Federal Credit Union's senior vice president of retail, Jeff Margeson, said that the credit union has been a platinum supporter of the Wintermarkt since the event’s inception five years ago. “It is wonderful to see the holiday spirit alive. Thank you to everyone on the WinterMarkt Committee and Dulles Chamber for bringing this event to life,” Margeson said.
As night fell, sparkling lights lit up the market stands, and a chill spread through the air. People rushed to get one more mug of hot German glühwein, finish their holiday shopping at the market rather than online, and enjoy the last performance.
Little ones, their parents, and others danced in the street and on the sidewalks under the twinkling lights to the merry music of the local band, the Fabulous Retronauts, performing on the steps of the town’s municipal center. It provided a fitting conclusion to the family-friendly WinterMarkt held in Old Town Herndon, which embraced the community.