And there were a lot of people taking photos on Friday while at the market.
“Act like you’re close to him. For crying out loud,” said Helmut Kientz trying to position his wife Connie next to a mask of Krampus.
St. Nicholas is for the good kids. Krampus, for the not-so-good.
Bad kids like Helmut Kientz, apparently, who lives in Bright, Indiana, but spent his formative, precocious years near Baden-Baden, Germany.
“I tripped a nun,” he said. “We had gates on each side of the street, and me and a friend of mine tied a rope across the street. He hid behind that fence, and I hid behind this fence, and a nun we didn’t like – this is when we were 8- or 9-years old – when the nun came down the bicycle (path), we pulled the rope and knocked her off the bicycle.
“That was in the summer. So that Christmas, when Krampus came, he knew about it. And we got the switch.”
The Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza runs through Christmas Eve.
Fifty-seven vendors are at the market, about 60 percent of them from Germany or Austria.
Like Fehrenbach Black Forest Clocks.
“We have a variety of clocks, from the very traditional cuckoo clocks with the birds and leaves and the hunting style,” said Bernd Fehrenbach.
Fehrenbach said all the clocks are made in Germany.
“Nowadays, getting more popular are the chalet clocks. They look like Black Forest or Swiss chalets. And the special thing about them is they have moving parts,” he said.
“A very typical German theme is the beer drinker. He lifts his arm every hour to drink his beer, and you can imagine that is very popular – a good seller.”
This is Fehrenbach’s 14th year at Christkindlmarket.
Friday brought a cool opening for shoppers at the market.
“The mulled wine is certainly warming me up, which is awesome,” said one visitor from Calgary.