The illuminations, all year round, make Colmar very attractive in the evening.
Nine hundred computer-driven light sources are skillfully distributed throughout the town and thus allow an original light show which varies in intensity and color.
This magic of lights redraws the town, applying fresh contours and new reliefs, enhancing thousand architectural details.
The lighting system combines static and dynamic lighting with four themes: water, air, fire and earth. Sea green, on the river banks, accentuates the reflections of buildings and trees in the water. Blue brushes the rooftops. White symbolises the fire of faith when it alights on church towers. The colour golden amber represents the earth of Alsace.
Colmar was the first town in France to put in place an operation of such amplitude.
It's not only a real visual success but also contributes to security when walking after darkness.
The town is illuminated from nightfall on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the whole year, and every evening during major events marking the life in Colmar: the International Festival, Regional Alsace Wine Fair and Christmas in Colmar.
The Christmas market in December at the Place de l'Ancienne Douane behind the Koïfhus is my preferred from the five Christmas markets organized in the town of Colmar.
The square hosts about 50 stalls placed around the Scwendi Fountain and along the small river, an arm of the Lauch river.
You find here a fairy tale decor combining the permanent illuminations of the Old Town with the Christmas illuminations and decorations of the buildings and stalls.
Even if the stalls close around 20 h, the people are still in the streets, restaurants, winstub.
This is the Colmar vinters co-operative. You can buy cheap wines or more expensive wines at a far cheaper price than you will pay in the bars. Off course you are drinking out of plastic cups at wooden benches, but you get what you pay for.
Once a week there is a gathering just outside as the Comarians put on a show of traditional dancing. A sure sign of what is to come is the fact that the local householders all close their shutters as the performers gather. We stayed five minutes before deserting.
OnTuesday evenings at 20:30 from May through September, Alsatian bands and dancers in their native dress perform in the square. Afterwards with the band still playing, locals and tourists join in.