A native of Fulda, Frank has visited many Christmas markets in Germany and the United States. It was the first visit to Philadelphia's Christmas Village for Frank and her husband, David, but she said they would be back next year.
The village, bordered by 15th and 16th streets between Arch Street and JFK Boulevard, makes a special effort to showcase German food and goods to remain as genuine as possible and further the connection between the Philadelphia and Nuremberg markets.
"Kathe Wohlfahrt has been participating in Christmas Village since it began," said Nancy McElwee, 63, an employee of the German Christmas ornament and decoration supplier. "The company's merchandise is shipped from Germany and sold specifically in Christmas markets like this one.
"It's a wonderful way to start the Christmas season," she said. "The village is like going to Germany without the expense of airfare and travel."
In keeping with German tradition, an appearance from the Christkind - or Christmas Angel - was the highlight of the village's seasonal grand opening on Saturday. In Germany, the Christkind is responsible for bringing presents to children on Christmas morning.
"There are many shops here selling German things and food, just like back in the Christkindlmarkt," said Johanna Heller, the young Nuremberg woman who played the Christkind. "I like that this market isn't exactly the same. It has its own festive way to it that makes it unique."
Begun five years ago, the Christmas Village has grown to become a popular stop for those touring Philadelphia during the holiday season.
"This is all very cool," said Pat Conneen, 50, of Havertown. "As a kid, I used to come into the city and go to Wanamakers for the light show, and the Christmas Village is really a great addition to that."
The village is sponsored by German American Marketing Inc. along with OneMain Financial, and will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays until Dec. 24.
Contact Joe Trinacria at 215-854-2771 or email@example.com.