Saturday's Final Parade Means 'Holidazzle' is History

Updated: 12/22/2013 4:06 PM By: Beth McDonough

"Holidazzle." Say that one word and everybody in the Twin Cities knows what you're talking about.

It's an annual event for the family and a time-honored holiday tradition. But, after 22 years of marching eight blocks down Nicollet Mall between 4th and 12th streets in Downtown Minneapolis, the popular Holidazzle parade is history.

The Holidazzle has a legacy dating back to 1992. Over 22 seasons, there have been 489 parades, featuring 550 costumes, 134,000 volunteers wearing costumes, plus thousands of others donating time to help out. On average 400,000 people would come watch the parade every year.

In 1992, competition was fierce for Christmas shoppers, because that's when the Mall of America opened. The idea behind Holidazzle was to entice people to come from the suburbs to the city for the parade and stay for the shopping.

The last sparkling float rolled to a stop at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Not even the cold, the crowds or crazy traffic could stop spectators from getting a glimpse of the Holidazzle's last hurrah.

Generations of families came to see the parade before its lights out.  Spectators saw the floats, twinkling lights, giant Snowman and spellbinding storybook characters. Unfortunately for them, its the end of an era.

Earlier this year, we learned the parade would be pared down, from 19 nights to only eight.  Then, came the decision to retire tradition altogether.

Next year, Twin Cities residents will see the holiday along Nicolette Mall in a whole different light. However, no one knows what the new event will be.

According to Steve Cramer of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, which runs the parade, "We don't know yet, but we're going to work on it hard. Our goal is to create a new holiday tradition in Minneapolis and just as exciting."