It says a lot that each year the sidewalks along the Holidazzle route are crowded with people wiping their noses on mitted hands and doing the seasonal jig of self-warmth. After 18 years, the parade still manages to draw a crowd in the unforgiving hours after sunset (though it's called off on nights where the wind chill dips below -20 degrees). The overarching theme seems to be lights of incalculable numbers, affixed to most anything that makes its way down the parade route: an amalgam of storybook protagonists; holiday characters; carol singers in oversized, lit collars; high school marching bands; and Santa closing out the procession. The parade moves down Nicollet Mall, where overlooking skyways are packed with watchers who've sidestepped the weather and are free to remove their knit hats. But those coveted spaces are filled early. Holidazzle's other toasty alternative is the ticketed Hot Seats, a reserved ground-level spot in a heated, enclosed tent with complimentary warm drinks. For more information visit holidazzle.com or call 612.376.SNOW. (Photo by Richard Westley Wong)
Thursdays-Sundays, 6:30 p.m. Starts: Nov. 27. Continues through Dec. 20, 2009
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