Christmas market, Santa return to Doma Square

  • 2002-11-28
  • TBT staff

Riga's Doma Square will light up once again Nov. 30 when the second annual Old Riga Christmas Market kicks off.

The market, which will run through the New Year, will host a daily mix of cultural and vending activities to prepare locals and tourists for the upcoming holiday.

Like last year, a towering spruce, 50 kiosks and a stage for performance will dominate Doma Square, according to market organizers. Visitors will again have the chance to sip wine, dance and purchase any number of gifts and crafts.

In addition, this year's market will feature a merry-go-round and a busier cultural program, said J.C. Cole, director of Old Riga Christmas Market.

"Last year we only had 21 days to plan a market that lasted 12," said Cole. "This year we had a lot more time."

Cole, who is president of Architectural Investments, said he and a few other businessmen had been mulling the idea of a Christmas market for years. Finally, he said, the group decided to act last year after having learned that Tallinn was also launching its Spirit of Christmas Market in Town Hall Square.

The group immediately established an informal public-private partnership and went around town locating sponsors - including Rietumu Banka and Nelss, a timber mill - and kiosk tenants.

A percentage of the market's sales will be donated to the Latvian Children's Fund, said Cole.