Report explores Carmel Christkindlmarkt’s economic boost to county


Multiple awards and recognitions have marked the continued success of the Carmel Christkindlmarkt, and its recently released annual report crunched the numbers to show it, too.

Carmel Christkindlmarkt CEO/President Maria Adele Rosenfeld presented the report during the May 20 meeting of the Carmel City Council.

According to the data, the annual German-inspired holiday market saw a 59 percent increase in sales from 2022 to 2023, leading to a direct impact of $23 million generated for the local economy. It concluded that for every dollar spent at the market, an additional $1.53 was spent at other businesses in Hamilton County.

“We do know that a lot of that is going to be spent in the vicinity of the market and in Carmel,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s a pretty significant economic impact the market is having.”

The report used data collected by Hamilton County Tourism and the Indiana Business Research Center at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. It showed that an estimated 475,000 people visited the market in 2023, which was held at Carter Green the month before Christmas.

New offerings in 2023 highlighted in the report included expanded space and programs for children, a first aid station (leading to a reduction in runs by the Carmel Fire Department), recycling stations and the inaugural Sankt Martinstag celebration.

Rosenfeld said the Christkindlmarkt, a nonprofit, will invest dollars from the 2023 season back into the event, with a focus this year on full-time staff.

“For our organization to be sustainable and to continue to bring this magical holiday experience to Carmel, we really need to build out the internal infrastructure of the market and creating more layers, so that if I get hit by the proverbial truck, there are others full time who know the operations and what is going on,” she said.

City Councilor Anita Joshi commended Rosenfeld for her team’s work to create a “fair and very culturally appropriate and accurate” market.

“It is a wonderful thing to be able to visit a country and come back home and see that country reflected in almost exactly in the way that it’s intended,” Joshi said.

Earlier in the meeting, Carmel Mayor Sue Finkam said that city leaders plan to meet soon with Christkindlmarkt officials to “reexamine this relationship” in light of the market’s sustained success. The city spent $400,000 to launch the Christkindlmarkt in 2017 and granted $125,000 in 2018. It has not provided direct funds for the market since then but has continued to support it in other ways, such as having city employees set up and tear down the huts each year.

“We’re going to formalize some things that haven’t been formalized yet, making sure that they are truly a separate 501C3 with expert leadership, and that we are then obviously a strong partner, and we have a (memorandum of understanding) clearly defined as far as what we’re going to provide and how we work together in times of change or challenge,” Finkam said.

Find a link to the Christkindlmarkt’s 2023 report at