Loring Park Providing Downtown Park Ambiance To Holidazzle Experience

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There’s a special ambiance inside Loring Park neighborhood. Located in the heart of Minneapolis, it  includes opportunities for local patrons to walk, engage and enjoy one another in a friendly community surrounding one of the city’s premier parks.

The lights, twinkling in the winter evening at the base of the skyline, is something for all to enjoy.

This year’s Holidazzle will take place in Loring Park, bringing one of downtown Minneapolis’ holiday traditions together with one of its most well-known parks and neighborhoods. The Minneapolis Downtown Council and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board are working together to help combine/unite/join these two great Minneapolis staples to provide a memorable experience here this winter.

It’s a great fit, and a great opportunity to experience downtown Minneapolis this holiday season.

“Loring Park is surrounded by shops and restaurants and is just a short walk (or ride) to Nicollet Mall and the rest of the downtown area,” said Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Jayne Miller. “Its central location is also easy to access throughout the Metro area.”

As sound a tradition as Holidazzle has in Minneapolis dating back two decades, Loring Park has a history in this city that dates back to 1883. That’s when the area was purchased and first named Central Park. For a little less than a month in 1885, the park was renamed Spring Grove Park, but park commissioners changed their minds and the name reverted to Central Park.

In 1890, at the suggestion of William Folwell, the park was renamed to honor the first president of the Park Board, Charles Loring. Loring objected, asking instead that the park be named Hennepin Park. The Park Board voted in favor of Folwell’s suggestion.

From that point forward, according to MPRB, Loring Park has been a well-known park destination in the heart of the city. But it also has a festive history that links directly to the sounds of the season during this year’s Holidazzle.

Loring Park has been the site of dramatic and musical performances since its earliest days. It was not only the  site of the first bandstand in a park, but it was the site of theatrical performances since the early 1900s. When the city celebrated the linking of Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun in 1911, a historic play was offered at Loring Park that attracted an estimated 25,000 for each performance over three nights.

In 1914, the Park Board approved the petition by a group of University of Minnesota students to perform Shakespeare in the park. Loring Park was also an important venue for the community singing competitions staged in various parks from 1919 to 1958. As the once hugely popular mass singing competitions dwindled in popularity, Loring was one of only three parks still participating at the end.

Loring Park’s viability for continuing musical performance was enhanced in 1951 with the construction of a new bandstand. Loring is still a venue for public performances, including community sing-alongs.

Here at Holidazzle, you’ll hear songs of the season throughout. The musical performances fit well into the history and the spirit of Loring Park.

Holidazzle’s tradition and all the people who enjoy it annually look to add to all that Loring Park has to offer throughout the holiday season.

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