EDIT: Due to concerns over the rain forecast on Saturday, Dec. 15, the location has changed to the original Dirtbag Ales at 3623 Legion Road in Hope Mills. Please visit the Hayat Yoga Shala page on Facebook for further details.
Hayat Hakim has lived in the Fayetteville-Hope Mills area for the past 10 years, but she still has fond memories of the first 20 years of her life spent growing up in Bonn, Germany.
“I was raised going to the German Christmas market every year with my family,’’ Hakim said. “We basically celebrated by going with the entire family. The memories the entire time I was raised in Germany brought such a familiar feeling of community with me.’’
Hakim, who operates Hayat Yoga Shala on Raeford Road, tried to bring the German Christmas market experience on a smaller scale to the students at her yoga studio four years ago.
This year, with the help of Dirtbag Ales Brewery and Taproom, Hakim is putting together a much larger scale event that will be held at Dirtbag’s new brewery at 5435 Corporation Dr. in the Gray’s Creek community. The market is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“Every year at this time, I miss home very much,’’ Hakim said. For some time, she’s been exploring what could be done to bring a little bit of the German Christmas market feel to this community, which she described as versatile and diverse in cultural aspects.
“I realized how much people wanted that experience in their lives; soldiers stationed in Germany, German spouses who came over here with their families,” she said. “They all just miss it. That’s why we are trying to recreate that good feel.’’
An obvious feature of the German Christmas market will be multiple food and drink options. In addition to German-style beer, Hakim plans to offer “glühwein,” a German-Austrian after-ski drink.
“It’s a warmer, sweeter red wine,’’ Hakim said. “It has different ingredients like orange and cinnamon and a homemade recipe of sweetness.’’ She described it as having a Christmas feeling that warms the whole body.
Pastries are also a big part of the German Christmas market experience. A local catering service will be on hand to provide “lebkuchenherzen,” which are gingerbread hearts.
A German food truck will be at the market, and an authentic German café will be recreated to offer dishes familiar to the German community.
German potato salad will be available, along with assorted types of coffee popular to the German community.
In addition to the food offerings, Hakim has commitments from up to 30 vendors for the German Christmas market with a goal of landing as many as 40.
“We have a lot of handcrafted vendors,’’ she said, “from artists to unique jewelry makers.’’
One artist scheduled to appear makes glass ornaments by hand and will be hand-painting them during the market.
There will also be local farmers on hand with displays of produce.
The market will also have a dog park for those who want to bring their pets, as well as a playground for children.
While some of the vendors will accept credit cards, Hakim suggests people planning to make purchases at the market be prepared to bring cash with them.
The event will be held outdoors so Hakim advises patrons to be prepared to dress for whatever weather may develop.
For further information about the Christmas market, including details on specific vendors, visit the Dirtbag Ales Brewery and Taproom or the German Christmas Market pages on Facebook.
Photo: Left to right: Dirtbag Ales staff Nick Demetris, Hope Demetris and Elizabeth Brogan; Hayat Hakim; and Dirtbag Ales co-owner Vernardo Simmons-Valenzuela.