This stalwart Minneapolis tradition begins its march down Nicollet Mall this coming Friday, Nov 26. In case you aren’t familiar, the Holidazzle Parade is a lighted holiday parade, now in its 19th season and its third year with Target as the title sponsor. The parade includes floats, bands, and all the other paraphernalia that you would expect from a great parade.
Except that each float, and a lot of the bandmembers, cars, and other characters are all strung with lights. According to KARE 11, “More than 350,000 twinkling lights will adorn the 13 floats and two doodlebugs along the parade route…” Go, find out what a doodlebug is!
New this year for Holidazzle will be fireworks for the opening night parade. The fireworks will begin promptly at 6:30pm and will continue throughout the festivities on opening night.
The theme this year is “A Fairytale for All,” with the parade populated with favorite storybook characters. Along with these enchanting bits of fantasy, the retinue of Grand Marshalls includes such local luminaries as the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and A Christmas Story, the Vikings unofficial mascot Ragnar and the Cheerleaders, Mayor R.T. Rybak, Lorie Line, various Minneapolis dignitaries and most of the anchors from local newscasts. Drum corps and marching bands will be featured, as well as area choirs.
There will be a collection of nonperishable food items taken along the parade route, with volunteers walking along the route and collecting for the Emergency Foodshelf Network. The Circus Train float will also be collecting. So bring down your canned and boxed items to make someone else’s holidays a little brighter.
The parade runs between 12th and 4th streets in downtown Minneapolis along Nicollet Mall. There are parades Thursdays through Sundays, beginning this Friday and going until Sunday, Dec 19. It begins at 6:30pm each night, and watchers generally start lining up along the route around 6pm.
Again this year, Hot Seats will be offered, where you can find an enclosed, heated seat along with free hot cocoa and cider. This is located in prime viewing territory, between 11th and 12th seats, for $9 per seat. These sell out quickly, so go to the website to reserve yours for your desired date. If you don’t care to pay for a warm seat, try the overhead viewing from the skyways. A bit chilly still, but at least there you would be out of the wind.
Parking is always a challenge, but on Saturday, Dec 11, Metro Transit will offer free bus and light rail rides from 4 to 8pm for the parade. If you decide to shop or eat downtown before the parade, you can get a voucher to park for free at designated ramps through the Do the Town Parking program.
This event is generally free (except for Hot Seats and parking) and open to everyone. A great family event, provided it's not too cold for the kiddies. Here’s hoping for good weather and minimal frostbite, as the Holidazzle Parade takes off!