Sunday, December 18, 2011


Last Sunday, Travis and I took the boys to the Holidazzle Parade in downtown Minneapolis.  This year was the parade’s 20th season.  I think that I may have gone once before when I was younger, but this was Travis, Charlie and Levi’s first year attending!

For those of you who are not familiar with the parade, it is held each weekend (Thursday-Sunday) from the day after Thanksgiving until just before Christmas.  It is a truly unique parade in that all of the floats and participants are lit up in Christmas lights!

We decided to give Charlie the thrill (and chill) of watching the parade street-side.  Thankfully it wasn’t overly busy and the weather was about as good as you could hope for being a balmy 39 degrees Fahrenheit (it has been a very mild winter thus far).

Before the parade, we camped out in the US Bank building lobby.

Our dinner consisted of goldfish crackers as all of the skyway restaurants were closed.  (You think that they would want the extra business???)

After that we bundled up and headed outside to the Nicollet Mall to hold our spot until the parade began.  Everyone, even Levi, was in good spirits.

However, that didn’t last too long.  Although the weather was mild, every now and then a cold breeze would come rushing down the street.  Travis ended up walking Levi through the skyway system for the rest of the parade.

Charlie got a seat right on the curb next to some very nice high school girls.

Finally the parade began!

I would like to mention that the photos for the parade are a little less than dazzling.  It is difficult to capture great photos when it is dark out with twinkling (and moving) Christmas lights.  And when your fingers are going to snap off from the wind chill mentioned above.

The tag line for the Holidazzle is “A Fairytale for All,” and therefore, the floats in the parade are themed after fairytales.

There was Pinocchio.

A circus train.

The kids dressed up as animals in the caged cars were absolutely adorable!  One giraffe continued to loose his head.  Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of that.

Humpty Dumpty…aka creepy.


Marching band.

Twins baseball snowman guy.

He could even twirl around!

Hansel and Gretel’s Gingerbread house (my favorite).

Insert (many) long pause(s)...

There was waaaayyyy too much time between each float.  Charlie would get up between each one, crawl through the crowd to me, and say “Hi MOM!” and I’d have to tell him to go back and sit down.

I don’t know why they were spacing them so far apart, but it was ridiculous.

Holidazzle Committee: Please fix this for next year.  The audience has freezing limbs and children with short attention spans.  For everyone’s sanity, just get the thing over with.  Thank you.

Anyways, back to the parade…

The Wizard of Oz.

Warning: the witch at the back of the float can be scary for children under 3 years of age…or adults over 28.

Walking giant Christmas light bulbs, and not a dud in the bunch!

Pirate ship (arr, matey)!

Santa’s workshop.

And Santa’s sleigh.

With Santa Claus himself!

He has so many obligations this time of year.  We were glad he could make it as this is the first time Charlie has seen him in person (we are not the mall photo-op type).

Aside from the unnecessary length of the parade, and a baby that didn’t like the cold breeze, we had a great time!

If you are ever in the Twin Cities over the holiday season, I recommend you attend the parade (you’ll have to make a note for next year as today was the last parade of the season).  Seeing all of the beautiful lights should spark the holiday spirit in everyone.  It is especially magical for kids, and something that we look forward to making a part of our Christmas traditions…weather permitting.


1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you aren't the mall Santa type! I had a weird guilty feeling for passing up the huge line at the mall last week, even though Theodore would hate sitting on a strange man's lap for a picture. I'm sure my time will come though...