Goat sleigh coming to European Christmas Market

The 6th annual European Christmas Market in downtown St. Paul opens this Friday with a Christmas tree lighting.

The free event at the East Plaza of the Union Depot will run three weekends in December, ending Sunday, Dec. 22. In the past the European Christmas Market was open two weekends; this marks the first year it will be held three weekends. 
I've written before about its many charms -- a welcome antidote to Amazon Prime holiday shopping in lieu of the local. The kid-friendly environment includes visits from Santa, reindeer petting and lots of live music. 
New this year is a one-of-a-kind goat sleigh from Nordic Horn in St. Croix Falls, Wis., as pictured above. It is the only offering of its kind, and the owners say they are excited to come to St. Paul for the Christmas market.
"This is a great fit for us because we have nordic roots and first started learning about goats by working on dairy goat farms in Sweden," said Allysse Sorensen, who calls herself the Chief Goat Whisperer. "In traditional European holiday folklore, goats can be portrayed as naughty or nice. And so we really feel they fit the Christmas spirit! We are absolutely the only goat sleigh that we know of that offers anything like this. Move over, horses!"

The goat sleigh will be open to all visitors, who can sit in it or stand beside it for a photo for no cost. Kids can sit in the sleigh and families are welcome to gather around it. Parents may take pictures, and a professional photographer will be on hand as well, sharing pictures online later for a fee. 
The goat sleigh will only be at the Christmas market on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 12:30-5:30 pm. If you're interested in seeing the goat or getting a picture, that's your only chance. 
Also new this year is a dog sled team coming on Sunday, Dec. 8. Silver Creek Sled Dogs hail from the North Shore and plan to offer brief rides if weather and the crowds permit.
Reindeer will be at the market the first two weekends.
Another new attraction this year will be ice-lantern demonstrations from Minneapolis-based Wintercraft. (Their stunning work was featured in The Polar Bear Wish.) 
See the full schedule here

Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and four children in Inver Grove Heights. Read all her posts at mnparent.com/charmed