There’s almost nothing I love more this time of year than a good holiday tradition. And one that’s decades old? Even better. That’s why it’s so exciting to me that the Target Holidazzle Parade—now in its 20th season—is once again lighting up the streets of Minneapolis. Whether you’ve experienced this theatrical light show before or not, this truly is one holiday tradition you won’t want to miss.
Photo by Patrick Kelley Worldwide Photography
Each year more than 300,000 spectators bundle up to watch the illuminated floats, listen to the music of local bands and choirs, see celebrity grand marshals and, of course, Santa Claus float down Nicollet Mall. This year will include returning storybook favorites like Captain Hook, Pinocchio, and Princess and the Pea, but also new looks for the grand marshal and choir floats. You will also see the return of the Metro Transit Twinkle Bus, but with added enhanced LED lights that pulsate to holiday music. All of these elements fall within this year’s parade theme, “come see the night in a whole new light.”
Considering that this wintertime tradition first began as a way to bring shoppers back downtown, it’s only right that you would stick around the area before or after the parade and make a dent in your holiday list. In City Center, the most connected building downtown, you’ll find shops like Brooks Brothers, Marshall’s, and Len. In the IDS Center’s Crystal Court you can pick up a native gift at Love from Minnesota, or check out other stores like Gap and Banana Republic. For the serious shopper, in Gaviidae Common you can search through Macy’s 400,000 square feet of retail space. As long as you’re there, enjoy even more holiday fun at the department store’s Santaland, where you can experience “a day in the life of an elf.”
In addition to shops, there are plenty of dining options all within walking distance. Dine on American comfort food with a twist a Mission American Kitchen & Bar, check out Minneapolis’ own version of the UK at Brit’s Pub and Eating Establishment, where you can try their famous scotch eggs paired with a British pint, or grab a seat at the 80-foot bar at The Local, where you can dine on traditional Irish fare as well as American and Minnesotan favorites. If it’s particularly chilly and you’d prefer to watch the parade indoors, Vincent A Restaurant allows you to do so from the comfort of their dining room while also tasting French cuisine with contemporary American twists.
Target Holidazzle Parade
Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m.
Nicollet Mall, 12th to Fourth Streets, Minneapolis
Tip: From 4-8 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 15, all Metro Transit buses and light rail rides are free to parade attendees.