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Holidazzle could be revived as winter marketplace

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The Holidazzle could be on its way back to downtown Minneapolis – but it could look quite different from what everyone is used to.

The Minneapolis Downtown Council wants to revive the just-ended parade as a downtown "Holidazzle District" featuring a winter marketplace, and is asking the City Council to consider it.

According to the Business Journal, the market would have a European style similar to the Christkindlmarket in downtown Chicago. The Windy City's market is outdoors, and runs from late November through about Christmas Eve. It's inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545 and now sees more than 2 million visitors each year, according to a festival press release.

Unlike the parade, which saw visitors come and go, Downtown Council President Steve Cramer tells the Star Tribune the Minneapolis Holidazzle market would be open seven days a week and into the evening.

The Downtown Council is asking for $395,000 to support the event in 2014, about 75 percent of which would come from funds already in the Convention Center budget. The rest ($95,000) would be pulled from the City Coordinator budget. The council is also proposing a funding partnership with about $1.3 million in private support.

The Holidazzle's departure

The Holidazzle Parade drove its last float down city streets in December of 2013. The Holidazzle Parade has been a Minneapolis staple for 22 years, and draws 300,000 spectators each year.

As WCCO reported in November, the Downtown Council decided 2013 would be the last, while city leaders look for something with a fresher approach in years to come

The Star Tribune talked to Leah Wong, the vice president of the Downtown Council, that same month and quoted her as saying, “We got to a natural point where we had to ask, ‘Do we want to continue to invest in floats, in refreshing floats, or do we want to think of something that’s fresh?’ ”

“This costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on,” Cramer told KARE 11 last year. “We’re conscious of that and will make sure that those resources are spent in a way that gets the best bang for the buck.”

Chicago's Christkindlmarket has been around since 1996, and now attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year, the event's website says. Here are two photos examples of the market.

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