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Holidazzle festivities wrap up, again with mixed reviews


The Holidazzle holiday festival in Minneapolis wraps up its month-long celebration Sunday. This is the second consecutive year the event ditched its traditional parade – which had been a around for nearly two decades – for a winter festival.

The Minneapolis Downtown Council made some changes after last year's European-style market received a lot of criticism. People complained about the $6 entrance free, long lines and more. So this year, they waived the fees. The city celebration was also moved from Peavy Plaza in downtown Minneapolis to Loring Park.

They also swapped last year's wooden market stalls for white tents and focused on having more local vendors, according to the Star Tribune.

Despite dropping fees, shortening lines and offering new events – including outdoor movies, ice skating, carriage rides, fireworks and music – Holidazzle once again stirred up some controversy.

Some visitors where very happy with the adjustments. Others still weren't impressed.

Downtown Council CEO Steve Cramer told the Star Tribune this year's attendance was affected because the venue was only open four days a week instead of seven, as it had been last year. However, he told the paper the turnout each day was similar to last year and the council is satisfied.

The paper says next year's location hasn't been set yet, but organizers plan to bring it back to Nicollet Mall when construction is complete in 2017.

According to the Star Tribune, the future of Holidazzle and how it's presented depends largely on sponsorships.

Holidazzle will wrap up its 2015 festivities Sunday with an outdoor movie screening at 5 p.m. and a fireworks show at 6:30 p.m. The movie will be Disney's "Frozen."

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