The Christmas season officially gets underway tomorrow in the Twin Cities when the inaugural Holidazzle Village opens to the public.
Members of the Minneapolis Downtown Council have been working like elves to get the eagerly-anticipated European-style Christmas market ready, with a line of traditional wooden huts lining Nicollet Mall between 10th and 12th Street.
It marks a change of festive tradition in Minneapolis city center, with the $1.7 million village in Peavey Plaza replacing the popular Holidazzle parade, the Star Tribune reports.
As well as the market, the village will host nightly events, with choirs and bands performing, story time for kids, carousel rides, and a display of reindeers, according to the Holidazzle website.
Needless to say, the market will offer a selection of food, drinks and, of course, shopping.
The MinnPost says the change in direction for the council is a “great test” of whether Minnesotans will brave the cold and embrace the vision for downtown Minneapolis based on all-year round outdoor events.
The market will run every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Christmas Eve when it closes at 6 p.m. The wider village will open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday to Sunday this weekend, and then on every weekend until Christmas.
Downtown St. Paul will also be hosting a European Christmas market this weekend at West 7th Place, which will run from Friday to Sunday.
Also in St. Paul, this weekend will see the lighting of the 70-foot tall Christmas tree in Rice Park, as well as the grand opening of the Wells Fargo Winter Skate, the Pioneer Press reports.