Ah, the European Christmas Markets. It’s that time of year when the aroma of spices floats through the air, and tourists and locals alike clamor for last-minute gifts and traditional items. In Cologne, Germany, though, you can expect to find rainbow flags alongside wooden räuchermännchen. This year, the annual LGBT Christmas Market called Christmas Avenue will open on Novemeber 25 with Deputy Mayor Elfi Scho-Antwerpes presiding over the ceremony that will also include Sophie Russel, a popular comedienne and drag artist at the city’s Startreff nightclub. Also performing on opening night will be Wanda Kay, who entertained visitors to Christmas Avenue last year with her modern, danceable songs, and cheeky lyrics.
While guests make the yuletide gay, throughout the season the market will become a center of activism. Including a call to action to end Russia’s homophobic laws on Human Rights Days and a special. Also on hand will be Parliamentarians Ingrid Hack and Dr. Regina Börschel who will be selling traditional glühwein with proceeds going to local HIV/AIDS charities.