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VIDEO: Brooklyn’s first winter village opens at Brooklyn Museum

November 26, 2018 By Liliana Bernal Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Peeved patrons and vendors are likening the failed holiday attraction to a scam.

Brooklynites no longer have to travel to Manhattan to indulge in a wintry escape.

The borough’s first winter village and holiday market opened to the public on Friday outside the Brooklyn Museum. Modeled on the traditional European Christmas Market, Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum features a 40,000-square-foot village that offers shopping, eateries and holiday entertainment.

“We are building a new tradition in Brooklyn for all the families living here,” said Lena Romanova, founder of Millennial Entertainment Group, the organization that operates the market with the museum and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Romanova, who has been in the Christmas market business for over nine years and run markets in Europe and within the U.S., added that she expects over 250,000 people to attend during the five weeks that the market will run until Dec. 31.

The outdoor village showcases small wooden chalets that house 50 pop-up retailers, 25 of them crafters from Brooklyn, which sell primarily high-end crafts, jewelry and clothing.

“I wasn’t sure how it would do, because it’s kind of tacked right behind the museum and I wasn’t sure people would know about it — but seems to be a lot of people are really interested,” said Peter Hildebrand, owner of Live Poultry Designs, a Brooklyn company that sells Brooklyn-themed apparel.

Santa’s house at Winterfest.
Santa’s house at Winterfest.

Hildebrand said he hopes to make around $500 a day, an amount he ended up surpassing on Saturday.

“People are happy to have a holiday market in Brooklyn for a change, instead of all the ones that are in Manhattan,” he said.

Besides the shopping, the market also offers holiday-themed attractions such as a Christmas tree maze, a candy dome and Santa’s house. There’s also a beer garden and a wine tasting experience called Vinopolis set up in the village.

The market is open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. The entrance is free and open to the public with some paid attractions.

Winterfest is located at the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum.
Winterfest is located at the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum.

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