alright minnesota, it’s time to settle down and remember to be nice. after 22 years the Holidazzle Parade is no more and the Holidazzle Village and Minneapolis Holiday Market has taken its place as the new annual tradition. after reading many harsh and extreme reviews, i felt that i needed to add my own and shine some positive christmas cheer to this new addition to the holidays in minneapolis.
i’ve been down to the holiday market twice now and had a very wonderful experience both times. the first time my dad and i went was on a tuesday afternoon. we were able to get in at the “lunch special” price of only $1.50 for both of us! it was pretty quiet since it was during the week so we were able to look around at all the vendors and enjoy the beautiful scenery. walking through the Käthe Wohlfaht tent there were tons of adorable and festive ornaments, nativity sets and nutcrackers ranging from very reasonable to expensive in price. i found an adorable little pine cone snowman that is now proudly displayed on our christmas tree. we sampled one of the german bratwurst which was a little cold but still delicious. i mean, it was 8 degrees so that fact that it wasn’t frozen was a win in my book.
i went once again this past weekend with [b] and his mom and cousin who were visiting from out-of-town. [b] and his family all grew up in new york so we were excited to show them what christmas was like in minnesota. it was a gorgeous december saturday in minnesota peaking at 32 degrees and sunny, so the place was packed! since it was the weekend they had a few blocks of nicollet avenue blocked off for a photo op with a large holidazzle float; a place to write letters to santa; live reindeer (probably on vacation from the north pole); and santa’s workshop. it was so exciting to see downtown filled with people and families all getting excited for the holidays.
i kicked myself for not remembering the tickets from when my dad and i had went, because once you buy your ticket you are set for the rest of the season. so we paid the $6 per person and headed over to get our 21+ wristbands. it was definitely packed and peavey plaza fills up quickly with tons of food and gift vendors and not to mention a carousel. but we managed to make our way around the people to look at the different vendors. there was a short wait to get our first round of beverages but nothing extreme at all; and the woman working the booth was extremely helpful in the explanation and pronunciation of Feuerzangenbowle and Glühwein aka mulled wine and spiked apple cider. they were $9 a piece but you got to keep the festive mug that they came in so i thought that was quite reasonable. (and yes, we all know they put a sticker over the old name of the Christmas Market; let’s move on and stop letting that dampen our spirits)and the contents were absolutely delicious. we found a spot to stand and enjoy and people watch. as well as ask everyone what delicious looking and smelling food they were eating. there was some jazzy live music happening and we sampled lots of baked cheese. oh my goodness amazing. 2 words. bacon cheese.
overall, i would say i had a good experience. it’s so disheartening to read all of these negative comments from people. it’s ok to be bummed that the holidazzle parade is over; but does that mean that something good couldn’t come out of it? soon enough people would start complaining that minneapolis never does anything new. was it crowded on the weekends? absolutely; but isn’t that a good thing? isn’t it great to see people participating in local activities? maybe you had to walk slowly though the crowd; or wait in line to get your Lebkuchen; but have a little patience. sure, it cost $6 to get in. oh well. my hopes are that the money made goes into making the event even better next year. could the layout be improved? for sure. but there were some areas to sneak away from the crowds and enjoy your snacks and drinks though. above everything else; it was the first year. take a breath, sip on some cocoa and stop getting your tinsel in a tangle. nothing is perfect the first time. but how neat that they brought the idea to life? think of how great it COULD be. and hopefully will be one day.
kudos to the organizers of this event. as someone who does event planning i understand how much preparation and planning and WORK goes into things like this. and i appreciate you. thank you for keeping our amazing city fresh with new activities and ideas. my christmas wish for you all is that my fellow minnesotans give you a chance and support you in making this another fantastic tradition to enjoy for years to come.
the Holidazzle Villiage and Minneapolis Holiday Market is open from 11:00AM – 9:00PM daily until Christmas Eve. (Closes at 6:00PM on Christmas Eve.) i highly encourage you go check it out and support our city. especially this weekend when the heat wave hits; hey-o 45 degrees!