Sunday Stop: A Victorian Christmas experience |

Sunday Stop: A Victorian Christmas experience

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

A holiday ski vacation is often a highly sensory experience. The thrill of downhill turns, the rush of clean, icy cold air, the taste of warm, creamy hot cocoa. But this holiday it is the sense of smell that will draw skiers from the mountain toward the tantalizing aromas wafting away from the heart of downtown Breckenridge. As Christmas approaches, the historical downtown district has transformed into a sparkling hub of holiday cheer, with cherished seasonal music, snow-capped shops and as of this weekend, a towering Christmas tree. Today, that irresistible smell of cinnamon and spiced wine completing the holiday atmosphere is coming from a unique holiday shopping and tasting opportunity that might make for the perfect finish to a weekend on the slopes.

The Victorian holiday market, housed in a few tents in the Blue River Plaza in downtown Breckenridge, is a new feature of the town’s holiday scene this year. Better known to those who value it’s European authenticity as the Kristkindle mart, the German-inspired market features the tastes and smells of Christmastime in Europe.

“There are German breads, spiced wine, all these unique crafts that I think are going to make for a unique shopping opportunity,” Rachel Zerowin of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber said. “Main Street’s got such a great offering of shopping already and this is another piece of the pie that adds to the holiday spirit. It’s a great place to come with your family.”

At the heart of the market are Otto and Edith Gorner, dressed out for the occasion in the traditional clothes of the old country, and their hot spiced wine. Members of the T.E.V. Edelweiss Club in Commerce City, the Gorners often came to Summit County for summer cultural events. This year they worked with the Breckenridge Resort Chamber to organize the Victorian holiday market in December as well.

At their tent the Gorners sell stollen, a German holiday cake baked with dried fruit, and gluhwein, a traditional hot spiced wine. The wine, a Burgundy spiced with cinnamon, cloves and a few other secret ingredients, is a family recipe, brought by the Gorners from western Germany.

Across the square from the Gorners, Nuts to You!, a Colorado mom-and-pop company operating another booth offers a variety of candied nuts roasted with various spices and flavors, the source of the unmistakable aromas. Different flavors of nuts can be sampled hot and purchased packaged.

At nightfall, shop the market while enjoying the twinkling lights of the Breckenridge Christmas tree, lit for the holiday season Saturday.

The market will be open today until 8 p.m. It will return next weekend, Saturday, Dec. 11 and 12 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

There will also be a Holiday Arts Market, offering original paintings, ceramics and jewelry from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 10 through 12. Part of the revenue from purchases will support the Town of Breckenridge Arts District. The Timberline Holiday Bazaar will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Lincoln West Mall. It will feature jewelry, clothing, homemade ornaments and storytelling for the kids.

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