Many amazing individuals were instrumental in bringing a European Christmas Market to the grounds of a Roswell treasure, historic Bulloch Hall, the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch, mother of the 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt.
Friends of Bulloch, Inc., in partnership with the Roswell Rotary Club, discussed such a venture. The primary power brokers were Friends of Bulloch President Bob Hagan, and Roswell Rotary President Alex Kaufman, who had a relationship with Marcel Kraus of the Munich Event Group. They presented a grandiose plan with gingerbread houses for artisan vendors; German foods, sausages and chimney cakes; gluhwein; Santa photo opportunities; a train for kids; a beer garden; and an adorable village of inflatable Christmas characters to create a wonderland on the expansive grounds of Bulloch Hall.
The mayor and city council loved the magic it would bring to Roswell and worked with the organizations to make it happen. The Christkindlmarket opened on the day after Thanksgiving and closed on Christmas Eve. More than 100,000 people attended the market and toured Bulloch Hall, which was beautifully decorated for Christmas in a European Christmas theme by local service organizations and designers. More than 1,000 people toured the home on opening night.
“Roswell is such a wonderful place to live for so many reasons - one of which is the vibrant organizations that serve our city like Roswell Rotary and Friends of Bulloch, and the incredible people that are the heartbeat of those organizations with their time, talent and treasure," says Mayor Kurt Wilson. "They truly are amazing and do so much to enrich Roswell."
Marcel Kraus comes from a German family of showmen and is the third generation to do this type of event. Roswell was the first event in the USA for Munich Event Group Inc.
"My family and I spent most of 2023 on this event, our first in the U.S., from building the booths to planning with the City of Roswell," says Marcel. "I couldn't have done it without my family, my father Mitch Kraus, my mother Katja Kraus and my wife Romina Lettner, who stood by my side every day."
Bob Hagan worked tirelessly during the entire Christkindlmarket and was the go-to person for every challenge that occurs with a new event.
“I was so pleased and excited with the Christmas market being in Roswell and on the grounds of Bulloch Hall," says Bob. "I was especially happy to see so many people visiting our historic Bulloch Hall. It was a joy to see families and children enjoying the Christmas spirit. We have not had this many visitors in years. The home looked wonderful. Many local service organizations and local designers brought Christmas magic to Bulloch Hall. We thank Mayor Wilson and the City Council for allowing the Christkindlmarket to happen. It brought attention to our historic district and showed what a special community we have in Roswell."
The Roswell Christkindlmarket was recently ranked 4th in the country. This is a not-to-be-missed event. They look forward to seeing you next year.
Thank you to Roswell Rotary, Friends of Bulloch, Alex Kaufman and Bob Hagan for their leadership, vision and execution. Kudos to the team at the City of Roswell under the leadership of Jeff Leatherman, Steven Malone and Dena Bush, who outdid themselves. If you see them, thank them!