Recent & upcoming: Black Friday, markets, markets, markets, Christmas run, parades, music, trains, and art

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I feel somewhat like a broken record lately in my Recent & Upcoming series. The lead-up to Christmas continues to build momentum in Aalborg, and given that holiday-themed events dominate the calendar, I am obliged to include them. I hope you don’t mind, dear readers. The first story of today’s post is related: Black Friday. This is the first time since our September 2012 arrival that I have noticed its encroachment on the Danish shopping scene (somewhat like an insidious pest that has swum, floated, or flown over from the US). Or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. In any case, information about it is included below. Happy shopping! (or avoiding stores entirely tomorrow). And try to enjoy something else if you can this weekend – there is a lot on offer! (Plus, don’t forget that I’ve covered in previous posts a lot of events still to come – see the Events Calendar for the best overview of everything…)

blackfridayBlack Friday hits Aalborg Center and City Syd – in a big way

Tomorrow, the day before Aalborg officially kicks off the Christmas season with Santa’s arrival and the lighting of the Nytorv tree, shops will be open and beckoning those who wish to whittle down their gift lists and get some good deals while they’re at it. From 10:00 to 22:00 most shops in the city center and City Syd will welcome shoppers, offering discounts and gimmicks to attract them. For example, Aalborg Storcenter opens tonight at midnight (yes, that’s right – in three hours) and recommends to those who want the best deals when stores open tomorrow that they bring their pillows. Cafés will be open, however, if you prefer to stay awake.

Just to clarify what this madness is about: in the US Black Friday is always the day after Thanksgiving, which is the fourth Thursday of November each year. It is not called ‘Black Friday’ to remind one of the plague or evil or…rather, its origin dates back to 1966 when in Philadelphia an article appeared in The American Philatelist that highlighted the masses of pedestrians and heavy traffic that resulted from eager Christmas shoppers the day after Turkey Day (as Thanksgiving is fondly called by many). However, most people believe the name stems from the idea that stores whose revenues hang in the balance from January to November hope to go ‘into the black’ or tip from operating at a loss to making a profit based on their sales that day.

In any case, there are, indeed, many deals to be had in Danish stores tomorrow. And if you find yourself at Friis, you’ll be able to try your hand at Formula 1 racing via a simulator (maybe because of this?), take in a pole dance performance, or accompany your children to an entertainment session by Events by Skovsgaard in the new playroom at Friis from 16:00 to 19:00. All in the name of commerce and economy stimulation, right?

Legerum and break room in Friis

Speaking of the playroom in Friis…I happened upon it and its neighbor – the relaxation room – while wandering through the mall a couple of weeks ago. It’s across from Femilet on the first floor, just a few stores down from H&M. I have to confess that I did not ‘get it’ the first time but did the second: the rooms are promotional spaces for Ikea and serve the double purpose of providing a place to sit still for a moment, look out the huge windows, and just be. Quite nice, actually. And for families of small children, especially, a saving grace when you just need a moment to let them run around and play.

Christmas parade this Saturday…but no ice skating – yet

The much anticipated Christmas season kick-off happens this Saturday, November 29. I already covered Santa’s arrival and the tree lighting a couple of weeks ago. However, I did not realize were even more activities that day. First is a Christmas parade from 13:00 to 14:30. The parade starts at Gabels Torv in front of Friis and goes through the pedestrian zone in the center of the city. Christmas costumes are encouraged; music will be supplied; the focus is fun for children. See the event FB page here.

Soon after – at 15:30 – Santa Claus will climb to the top of the Nytorv Christmas tree (given to Aalborg, for the 53rd year in a row, by our sister city of Fredrikstad in Norway) and turn on the lights that adorn it. This year the tree is 18.5 meters high and roughly 35 years old.

skating rinkAalborg Kommune announced this evening at 19:30 on their FB page that the CW Obels Plads ice skating rink will NOT open on Saturday, as had been anticipated and hoped. All preparations had been completed to pour the necessary 4,000 liters of water onto the rubber mats that line the space. However, because temperatures linger above 7 to 10 degrees, it is not cold enough to operate the rink. The new plan is to open it in week 49, or next week. Let’s hope (?) the cold sets in soon…

KreaBørs Christmas Market at Nordkraft Saturday

Also on Saturday, 29 November is the KreaBørs Christmas Edition, a creative Christmas market at Nordkraft that will be full of stands from 11:00 to 15:00. Items for sale will include illustrations, poster art, crafts, ceramics, jewelry, handicrafts, entrepreneurial design, photo art, and clothes (handmade creations). Entrance is free. More information available here.

Østskolen Christmas Bazaar this Saturday

Yet another Christmas market takes place Saturday, 29 November but this one is not in the center – it’s at Østskolen, aka the Waldorf School, at Tornhøjveg 14 from 10:00 to 16:00. Looks like a fun day for children and adults alike. Find more information about it here.

juleløbChristmas run this Saturday – join in just to get the Santa hat!

How about a run in the cool (but not cold – see above) nearly winter air? At 9:30 this Saturday, 29 November all are invited to take part in the annual Christmas run through Aalborg’s decorated streets. You choose your distance – runs of 2, 4 and 9 km are being offered. The event begins and ends at Gabels Torv, and all participants receive, in addition to a number, a Santa hat, and a cup of hot chocolate at the end. Motion Nord is the organizer of the event, which is not free, incidentally – registration is 100 kr. no matter which distance you choose to run (children 80 kr.). However, all runners who keep their number can benefit from 15-20% discounts at a range of stores in Aalborg center after the run. More info and online registration can be found here.

Brahms concert this Saturday at Musikkens Hus – students get in free!

If you’re in the mood for the lovely music of Brahms played by world-class performers this weekend, then head to Musikkens Hus’ Intimsalen this Saturday evening, 29 November at 19:30 where Aalborg Chamber Music Association is sponsoring a concert featuring violinist Veselin Demirev (ASO concertmaster) and pianist Alessio Bax. Entry is 100 kr. for Association members and 180 kr. for members of the public. STUDENTS GET IN FREE WITH STUDENT ID! The program includes Brahms’ sonata for violin and piano, nr. 1 in G major, opus 78; sonata for violin and piano, nr. 2 in A major, opus 10; and  sonata for violin and piano,nr. 3 in D minor, opus 108. More information about the association and concert available here.

christmas trainChristmas train from Aalborg to Skørping – fun for the family!

Christmas is fast approaching, and thus it is time for the annual Christmas train trip tradition from Aalborg to Skørping. On Sunday, 30 November and Sunday, 7 December the old train will pull out of Aalborg station and puff its way through Svenstrup and Støvring to Skørping. At the end of this short line passengers will find Christmas fun at the station and the opportunity to buy Christmas trees, mulled wine, coffee, cake and other holiday-related goods. The train trip takes about 2 hours, including the stop in Skørping. Limfjord railroad trains depart both Sundays at 10:30. On November 30, there are two extra trips at 11:30 and 14:30 and on Sunday, December 7, the train will take off at 13:30 as well. Tickets are 90 kr./person (50 kr./child from 4-11 years) or 230 kr. for a family ticket (2 adults and 3 children). Here is the link to more information.

Advent torch procession to Kildeparken this Sunday

For the second year in a row, Aalborg Congress & Culture Center and Aalborg City invite Aalborg residents to join in a torchlight procession from Gammel Torv to Kildeparken to mark the beginning of Advent. The procession will begin at 15:30 on Sunday, November 30 and make its way up Boulevarden, under the train station, and into the part of Kildeparken with the singing trees. Last year around 350 children and adults participated, and more are expected this year. Karen Grarup and her Christmas band Ole Bech, James Mygind, and Ib Buchholzt will provide entertainment both at Gammel Torv and in Kildeparken in the form of music. Restaurant Papegøjehaven will serve steaming hot cocoa to chilled (in both senses!) participants. A note of warning (we took part last year): the torches drip wax like crazy so be sure to wear clothing you don’t care about too much…

And yet another Christmas market this weekend…

The Lions Club Aalborg Budolfi is holding its annual Christmas market this Saturday and Sunday, 29-30 November at Aalborg Slots (Castle). A large range of items will be on offer; all proceeds go to the organization’s humanitarian work. Last year the group raised 115,000 kr., which it donated to local and regional charities. Naturally, visitors can also enjoy glogg and æbleskiver while browsing the stands. Opening hours are 10:00 to 16:00 Saturday and 11:00 to 16:00 Sunday.

arTexhibitUniversity students display semester projects next week

AAU’s Art & Technology (ArT) program invites you to the ArT Semester Exhibition 2014. Come and experience the projects by ArT students from 1st, 3rd & 5th semesters! All 21 art projects will be located in the new AAU CREATE building at Rendsburggade 14, 9000 Aalborg. Free entry! The opening day is Thursday, 4 December from 14:00 to 21:00. The exhibit continues the next day (also 14:00 to 21:00) and features an ‘after party’ (presumably starting at 21:00). More information available here.

Attention students! Free ‘Christmas train’ from Aalborg to Copenhagen on 20 December (but you have to act fast)

Students who want to travel home for Christmas from Aalborg are being offered an unusual gift by chocolate making firm Anthon Berg again this year: a free ticket home aboard a special pink Christmas train. In actuality, it is two trains hooked together, making it possible to transport up to 600 students. The initiative by Anthon Berg is called the ‘Generous Christmas Journey’. On 20 December the train will depart from Aalborg at 8:45 and travel to Copenhagen (with stops along the way). ‘The Generous Christmas Journey brought 320 students home for Christmas last year, and the many thank you notes we got made it all worth it. The only request was for more room because there were not enough seats for all who sought a ticket. Therefore, this year we decided to double up on the number of seats,’ says Rikke Crown, senior brand manager at Anthon Berg. If you are interested in getting a ticket, visit http://www.facebook.com/anthonberg.dk. The sooner the better.

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