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Friday, December 20, 2013


The temperatures have been much colder than usual in Minneapolis this month, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of children and adults from lining Nicollet Mall each weekend to watch the annual Holidazzle Parade.  This celebration of lighted floats and costumes has become one of the Twin Cities’ signature holiday events, and people look forward to it all year long.

The crowd cheers as the parade begins! 

Snowflakes projected on the buildings precede the parade.

Holidazzle made its first appearance in 1992, the year that the Mall of America opened, and was conceived as away to continue to draw people downtown Minneapolis to shop and dine.  The parade takes place two – four evenings each week in December, and every year over 300,000 people turn out to be awed by the spectacular show of lights.

Pinocchio and friends.

Dancing Lightbulbs!

As the streetlights dim, floats covered in hundreds of lights depicting fairy tales and children’s books begin their journey down Nicollet Mall.  Even the many “walkers” in the parade are dressed head-to-toe in costumes covered in lights. The combined effect is breath taking, but all of that comes to an end this year.

Target was the corporate sponsor this year and so the Target Dog started things off.

The Target Choir.

The city has decided that this will be the last year for the Holidazzle parade.  They feel that it’s time to re-imagine their Holiday celebration in a way that encompasses a broader stretch of the downtown area.  At this point, nothing has been firmly decided, so it will be interesting to see what evolves.  Personally, I hope they do come up with something new rather than just letting everything end.  That would be an unfortunate decision.

Bands performed in lighted uniforms.

You know who!

For now, as we wait to see what will come in future, we can still enjoy the wonderful Holidazzle parade for one more weekend before the lights go dark forever.

(Several friends have also contributed Holidazzle Parade photos for this post.)

The lighted floats glided down Nicollet Mall.

Metro Transit provided a holidazzled bus.

Dangerous "animals" in the circus train.

Over 300,000 people attend the parade each year. . .

. . . And have a Whale of a time!

Finally Santa arrives, and wonderful Twin Cities era comes to an end.

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