ST. CLOUD -- The second annual Weihnachtsmarkt - a traditional German Christmas market - was held tonight in downtown St. Cloud.

The night offered the community a chance to come out and celebrate German heritage, listen to live Christmas music, and eat an authentic German meal.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis says he's always enjoyed German Christmas markets so he helped to make the event happen in St. Cloud.

"We do a lot of festivals in St. Cloud...but we need to do more things in the winter," Kleis says.

"So what better [way] to celebrate heritage than to have a Weihnachtsmarkt?"

Hundreds of people came out to enjoy the event which also featured artwork by the Paramount Arts District, and the sale of Gluhwein - a warm, spiced red wine.

Kleis says he enjoys seeing the good turnout after the bitter cold last year affected the inaugural event.

"Last year it was 40 below zero," Kleis says.

"We still had a nice crowd, but not even close to this."

Kleis said the event was such a success that they had to restock their food a few times over the course of the night.

Due to the increased interest, Kleis says, St. Cloud can expect the event to return in the years to come.

"Based on tonight's attendance, we'll do it again next year," Kleis says.

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON