By Wendy Brown, Fort Bliss Bugle Managing Editor:
(El Paso, Texas, Nov. 22, 2017)
William Hildebrand made many friends when he was stationed in Germany for eight years in the Army, and now that he’s retired in El Paso, there’s only one place he goes to buy them Christmas cards each year.
That place is the German Christmas Bazaar in Bldg. 747 on Carter Road, and it happened here Saturday. Members of the German Air Force Air Defense Center host the market to raise money for Aid for the Needy, a charity that helps people on both sides of the U.S. and Mexican border. With German food specialties and handmade gifts, the market mimics the Christmas markets of Europe.
Hildebrand and his spouse, Teresa, also attend the market so they can buy pieces of homemade German cake from MoCa, a German charitable organization. This year the Hildebrands were first in a line of more than 20 who had gathered five minutes before the market opened. Traditionally, the cakes sell out quickly.
“I like the strudel,” William Hildebrand said, looking at the freshly cut cakes across the table, “and the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, and the Käsetorte.”
The market featured about 35 vendors, and they enjoy the market as well.
Olga Perez, who sells handmade Christmas ornaments and more, attended the market with her husband Jose and daughter Perla. She has been selling at the market for 12 years, she said, mostly because of the atmosphere.
“We eat and have a good time,” Olga Perez said.
“My dad doesn’t come to sell,” Perla Perez said. “He just comes to have fun.”
Peggy Fountaine, also of El Paso, sold jewelry while wearing her “Dear Santa, I want it all,” sweatshirt, and said this was her first time selling at the market, but she was having a good time.
Those who missed this year’s market need not despair. The German School of El Paso, located on Fort Bliss, plans to hold a similar market from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Bldg. 747 Carter Road.