It may only be a few days into fall, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Though an annual Minneapolis Christmas tradition will end up looking a little different.
"We considered many options for what the next chapter of Holidazzle would be," Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, said in a news release Thursday. “Holidazzle Village featuring the Minneapolis Christmas Market is the idea that continued to rise above all others because of the unique opportunities it presents for bringing new experiences to the city while also offering something for everyone."
There's no word on what vendors or corporate sponsors are involved with the event, which will open the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) and run through Dec. 24. The Downtown Council says it plans to release more information as opening day approaches.
Here's what we know about the event so far:
Holidazzle Village will be located on Nicollet Mall from 10th Street to 12th Street and will be open the Friday after Thanksgiving, and every weekend through December, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Attractions include nightly choir and band performances, photo opportunities, "Holidazzle character sightings," live reindeer and story time. There are also special events planned, such as winter fireworks, an interactive dog sled exhibit, glass blowing demonstrations and a pop-up ice rink.
The Minneapolis Christmas Market, located at Peavey Plaza, will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. In a departure from previous Holidazzle events, which were free to the public, attendees will have to pay a one-time fee between $3 and $6, which will grant them season-long access.
The market will be modeled as a traditional open-air, German-style Christmas Market – a similar market is held annually in Chicago.
The market will have 30 huts with international and local vendors offering treats, ornaments, candles, gifts, mulled wine, brats and other goodies. There will also be a tree lighting and other entertainment.
End of the parade
It was announced last year that the Holidazzle parade would be no more. Instead, the Downtown Council wanted to create an event to keep people circulating and shopping longer, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal notes. That was the point of the event when it began in 1992 – Mall of America had just opened and there was competition for shoppers. The parade was a way to entice people from the suburbs to come for the parade and stay for shopping, KSTP says.
The Downtown Council got $395,000 from the city to put on the event this year. The Downtown Council plans to combine it with $1.3 million in private funding.
The Star Tribune says the council is also seeking another $750,000 in the 2015 city budget to expand programming downtown.