Attendance at the second Carmel Christkindlmarkt more than doubled from its first year, with an estimated 328,000 people attending the Christmas market during its five-week run. Last year the crowd was estimated at 150,000.
The German-inspired event ran from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23, 2018, in the Center Green. Organizers made several changes this year to accommodate crowds, including an expanded layout, seven additional huts and increased product orders.
In its first year, organizers were overwhelmed by larger-than-expected crowds that led to long lines and shortages of popular items, such as boot-shaped Glühwein mugs. This year, they planned for bigger crowds.
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the market drew visitors from well beyond the city.
“Carmel’s a great place to visit,” he said. “We have people visiting from all over the country, and the Christkindlmarkt proved that. We had thousands of visitors from other places.”
He said a geofence captured area codes from across the nation, and he encountered visitors from several different states while visiting the market.