THE LOOP — The wait is over. Christkindlmarket's boot mugs are back.
After the popular porcelain collectibles — mugs in the shape of boots — got pulled from the annual German-themed pop-up fair in Daley Plaza in 2013, fans hit the roof and demanded their return.
But they were denied again in 2014 and forced to enjoy their outdoor mulled wine and hot chocolate in non-boot-shaped mugs. Some were devastated.
But in a Christmas miracle, organizers will deny them no longer. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the outdoor holiday fair, the boots will again be sold ... and will now feature a special anniversary design.
The mugs will feature the Chicago skyline, a Christkindlmarket scene and the stars from Chicago's flag.
"Like waiting for the Christkind or Santa, guests anxiously look forward to receiving their own Christkindlmarket mug to collect, take home, and remember as a small token of this great holiday tradition," the fair said in a statement. "Historically, the most coveted of all have been the boot shape mugs."
The market has sold different collectors mugs every year since 1999, but the boots have only appeared seven times since Christkindlmarket's inception. When they weren't sold in 2013, organizers explained they were just "switching it up."
But that didn't stop fans from voicing their displeasure. They wanted to drink out of footwear.
The tradition of modeling drinking vessels after winter footwear ("bierstiefel") is a uniquely German one, going back more than 100 years, according to the website Beeriety. There are several folk tale origin stories, all involving soldiers and generals drinking beer from their shoes in an expression of bravado, or as punishment for losing a wager.
The outdoor fair at 50 W. Washington includes more than 50 shops. It kicks off Nov. 20 and lasts through Dec. 24 this year.
The hours will be 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Special hours will be in effect on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, and Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, when it will operate between 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The fair takes its name from the Christkind, an angel dressed in gold and white robes who wears a crown, golden hair, and brings gifts to children.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: