A victim of its success in recent years, the German Christmas Market will offer a more modest formula to the citizens of Quebec in the gardens of the Town Hall, as of Saturday, because of the pandemic.
Quebec City, a partner of the event, wants to attract the population … but not too much. Hence the extended time slots. German Christmas gardens will be illuminated day and night, seven days a week, for two weeks longer than usual, between November 21 and January 3.
No need to “hurry” in the circumstances, argues Régis Labeaume, who wants to avoid large gatherings. “We try not to generate traffic … How can we not generate traffic by building something that is attractive? That’s part of the problem, ”said the mayor of Quebec at a press briefing Thursday.
Security guards will be on site to ensure that health instructions are followed. Security barriers could also be deployed as needed, should the maximum capacity of the site be reached.
“The fences are there. We would not like to take them out but if it is necessary, we will do it ”, indicated the general manager of the German Christmas Market, Olivier Lexhaller, recalling that in 2019, more than 600,000 people walked the Market according to his estimates.
Such traffic would have been “impossible to manage”, it is argued. Even if the Legault government ended up giving the green light to holding Christmas markets in Quebec, the decision not to deploy the dozens of traditional wooden cabins in front of city hall had already been taken.
Gingerbread, hot chocolate and entertainment
Despite the sanitary rules, the atmosphere will be festive, we are sure, with the illuminated decor, hot chocolate and Christmas music at all times.
Some German products, like gingerbread, will also be available on site at a handful of kiosks. No mulled wine on the other hand. Several activities are also on the menu with DIY workshops, making small gifts or reading Christmas stories, in addition to an ephemeral animation.
“We don’t want people to have the same expectations as in 2019, but it will still be very pretty and magical. Santa Claus dropped off his sled with his reindeer in the town hall gardens, ”said event president Britta Kröger.