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Last hurrah for Holidazzle

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If you're hungering for sights from the Holidazzle parade, WCCO has a gallery of photos from Friday, the first night of the last season.

After 21 years, thousands of characters and millions of lights, the Holidazzle celebration is winding down, reports WCCO.

The Holidazzle Parade started in 1992 as a way to draw shoppers downtown. Floats filled with local celebrities and cartoon characters were specially designed to fit under the skyways along Nicollet Mall. Only eight parades were ever cancelled because of cold temperatures, and only one for snow.

The Star Tribune says there will be free hot cocoa and hand warmers for onlookers this year. "Hot Seats" in the heated bleachers are sold out.

Earlier this fall the newspaper reported that Holidazzle would shrink to only eight nights this year; four consecutive Fridays and Saturdays starting Nov. 29 and concluding Dec. 21. That's down from 19 last year.

"There won't be a Holidazzle in 2014 as it is today," said Leah Wong, vice president of events and marketing for the Minneapolis Downtown Council. "In 2014 and moving forward, it will look different from what people have come to know."

Wong said there will still be a big downtown celebration for the season, but planners have no specifics.

So, why the change? Well, as WCCO reported in October, the Downtown Council says the whole notion of what the parade means to downtown Minneapolis needs a makeover.

It was time to “re-imagine the holiday experience downtown,” Wong told the station then.

“We are taking a step back to really look collectively at the downtown experience, and what we can do to activate the streets 365 days a year,” she said.

Parades start at 6:30 p.m. A full schedule is available on Holidazzle's website.

All I want to do is get dressed up, adventure around downtown, and see the last Holidazzle Parade

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