MINNEAPOLIS -- The annual holiday celebration on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, the Holidazzle Parade, kicks off on Friday, Nov. 26.
Now in its 19th season, "Target Holidazzle" is expected to draw more than 300,000 local, regional and national guests wishing to enjoy the glistening lights, beloved storybook characters and enchanting holiday music.
"There are many new enhancements to look forward to in this year's parade," said Leah Wong, vice president of events and marketing of the Minneapolis Downtown Council. "For the first time in Target Holidazzle history, opening night will kick off with a spectacular fireworks display."
Launching along the parade route, fireworks will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, and continue throughout opening night.
Bullseye, the beloved Target bull terrier mascot, will kick-off this year's Target Holidazzle parade season. This is Target's third year as a title sponsor of the event.
"Target is thrilled to roll out the red carpet for this year's Holidazzle Parade," said Shawn Gensch, vice president of Marketing for Target. "Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting our communities and we are proud to help host this event in our hometown."
Along with this new addition, Target Holidazzle continues to entertain with old favorites. More than 350,000 twinkling lights adorn the 13 floats and two doodlebugs along the parade route and nearly 300 volunteers show off festive costumes each night.
Target Holidazzle will once again partner with Ameriprise Financial for the 14th annual Food and Cash Drive. Each night before the parade, volunteers from Ameriprise Financial and Emergency Foodshelf Network will walk the parade route to collect non-perishable food and cash donations to benefit the Emergency Foodshelf Network.
The Circus Train float will also be collecting during the parade. Since 1998, the Emergency Foodshelf Network and Ameriprise Financial have raised 461,171 dollars and pounds of food at Target Holidazzle. With help from the community, the holidays will be a little brighter for everyone.
Free and open to the public, Target Holidazzle runs along Nicollet Mall between 12th and 4th streets Thursdays through Sundays from Friday, Nov. 26 to Sunday, Dec. 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Most people start lining up on both sides of Nicollet Mall at 6 p.m. Many parade-goers congregate in between 7th and 9th Sts., but on busier nights, particularly weekends, it is recommended to watch near the beginning or end of the parade route.
There are also options for those not wanting to brave the elements. "Hot Seats," enclosed, heated seats that serve free hot cocoa and cider, are available for purchase, and downtown's skyway system provide great options to keep warm. "Hot Seats" tend to sell out for the season quickly, so get yours now at www.holidazzle.com to ensure availability.
Getting to Target Holidazzle this season should easier this holiday season. On Saturday, Dec. 11, Metro Transit will offer free bus and light rail rides from 4 to 8 p.m. for parade-goers.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)