It's been two years now since Minneapolis decided to end the Holidazzle Parade, and the plan was to come up with something fresh and new. Last year that plan came to fruition in the form of the Holidazzle Market. The market was planned along the lines of the German Christmas Markets that pop up in cites throughout the world, and have been successful in several U.S. cites. That success, however, has not found it's way to Minneapolis yet.
Robert and Cynthia loved . . .
. . . The penguin cutout . . .
. . . While Gary preferred the polar bear . . .
. . . And the Abominable Snowman.
A magic snowball.
Last year's Market, for all of its issues, did show potential to grow into something pretty cool. Unfortunately, I didn't see that same potential this year. Last year the market was staged on Nicolette Mall (home of the Holidazlle Parade for years), and included booths with alpine fronts, which gave an "old world" charm and feel to the event, along with areas set aside to enjoy your food and beverages, and a stage for entertainment. Overhead, strings of lights glowed and each booth was illuminated by a lovely lighted star. The effect added to the romance of that "old world" charm.
Every true Minnesota event must include cheese curds . . .
. . . And mini donuts!
Local choirs provide music throughout the day.
This year's market was held in Loring Park, due to a two year redesign project for Nicolette Mall, which I thought it would be a much better setting for the event. I was wrong. In changing the venue, all of the wonderful "old world" charm was lost. Rather than a cluster of alpine booths surrounding a stage, we were treated to white tarp tents, with a stage set off to the side on a hill. The eating areas were absent also. While Loring Park should have provided much more conducive home for the market, the event's coordinators didn't seem to take advantage of that. It was a plus though to see that all of the vendors were local, including a number of small businesses.
Food building provided local cheese from The Lone Grazer Creamery,
and local meat from Red Table Meat Co..
Beautiful throws from Faribault Woolen Mill.
Love Your Melon Hat Company donates much of their proceeds to cancer research.
The lake in Loring Park.
There were a number of problems with last year's market, but it was the first year for the event, and people could see the potential of what it could become. Rather than moving forward, building on that potential, this year's market seemed to be two steps backwards. I applaud the city for wanting to find something fresh and new, but I'm not sure how committed they are to that cause. The Christmas Market is a great idea, but they have to do it better.
***Do you have Christmas Markets in your area?