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Holidazzle 2017 – here's what you should eat, buy and do

Loring Park is the place to be once again during the Christmas season.
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It’s another year for hot beverages, delicious snacks, fireworks, and more hot beverages at Loring Park during a cold Minneapolis November and December.

The Holidazzle kicks off its fourth year as a winter marketplace in Loring Park on Friday, Nov. 24.

It is once again free (unlike that lukewarm first year) and open to the public, with lots of fireworks planned, a handful of movie nights, food and drink to keep yourself satisfied, crafts that could make great holiday gifts, and a whole host of performances.

Holidazzle will run Thursdays to Sundays through December 23, evening hours only during weekdays, with 11 a.m. starts on the weekends, lasting until after dinner time. (You can see specific hours here.) There are warming tents to get a break from whatever the wind chill happens to be that day, and it’s pet friendly, too.

Plus, you can get free bus or light rail passes for some days through Metro Transit.

With so much going on at Holidazzle, we wanted to help you out. Here are our picks for what you should think about eating, watching, and buying there.

The movie nights not to miss

Holidazzle Movie Nights will see 9 movies projected on an outdoor big screen between Nov. 24 and Dec. 21. Here are the ones your should prioritize.

Don't miss:

Home Alone(7 p.m. Dec. 7): I don't really need to explain why this is one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. Funny as heck and festive to boot.

Honorable mentions:

The Polar Express (7 p.m. Dec. 21): It has its critics but this movie by Robert Zemeckis is a visual masterpiece, with the setting in the North Pole perfect for a frozen evening in Loring Park.

Elf(8 p.m., Nov. 24): I actually went off Elf after it became a Christmas phenomenon and didn't watch for several years until last year, when I realized it's still really, really good (apart from the cringe-worthy sing-a-long to Santa Claus is Coming to Town).

The food you should eat

There are more than a dozen food and drink vendors at Holidazzle and we wager they'll all taste pretty darn good, but we suggest you don't miss these stands.

K-Town Street Foods: Head to K-Town for its delicious, signature kimchi fries – which are topped with meat/tofu, green onions, aioli, cheese and – of course – kimchi.

Cindy's Cinnamon Roasted Nuts: Because it's Christmas, and Christmas tastes of cinnammon and roasted nuts – great for snacking on while walking around.

Pierogis Wonderland: A taste of Poland brought to Minneapolis by Renate Luniewski and her husband Robert, who offer meat and cheese & potato parcels, not to mention cream cheese crepes and blintzes.

The craft stalls to visit

Some standout craft vendors at this year’s festival will be selling warm weather gear for you and your loved ones, and homemade treats for your furry friends.

When you arrive, make a bee-line for these stalls.

The Abbey:Here's where you'll find cozy, handcrafted alpaca wool scarves, hats, gloves and more made from the alpacas they raise in Hutchinson, Minnesota.

Amelia & Holly's Compassionately Crafted Canine Treats: The name's a mouthful, but this Golden Valley-based mother-daughter duo have an array of homemade dog treats that use organic ingredients.

Hippy Feet: Hey, who doesn't need socks in winter? These particularly trendy socks will not only fit your ensemble, but give you a warm feeling inside knowing that for every pair you buy, Hippy Feet donates another to someone in need.

You can see a full list of the Holidazzle craft vendors here.

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