Holidazzle Brings Community’s Holiday Spirit Together

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Well, it’s hard to believe it but Holidazzle 2015 is in the books. The event kicked off November 28 and ran four weekends through December 20, wrapping up with perhaps the biggest crowd of the season on Sunday night. Thanks to everyone who came down and enjoyed the event throughout—Holidazzle 2015 was a fun event that brought a lot of holiday cheer to all ages.

One of the keys to the enjoyment throughout the run was the various engaging activities that offered people a chance to choose when they went based on what types of things they wanted to do. For instance, on Sunday night there was a huge crowd on hand for the movie Frozen—one of our holiday movie classics supported by North Memorial. The group began showing up and finding a place to put down a chair for the movie in the mid-afternoon, and the film started around 5 p.m. The weather was mild, and it offered a chance for us to do something very Minnesotan—sit outside and enjoy a holiday movie with friends and family in the middle of winter. How about that?

And of course, following the movie was the final fireworks display supported by Fulton Brewery. The crowd on hand for the movie paired with the rest of those in attendance to stop for 10 minutes and enjoy what was a great display in the downtown Minneapolis sky. There are several photos that were shared on social media—particularly Instagram—that really showcase how neat it was to see fireworks displayed in Loring Park.

Speaking of Loring Park, this year’s Holidazzle made the move there due to the Nicollet Mall Project. While the plan is to return to Nicollet Mall once the construction has subsided, Loring Park provided a great area to get together and celebrate the holiday spirit. It provided a nice backdrop of the downtown skyline, space for the Holidazzle footprint to spread out, and a chance to add engaging activities in downtown’s largest park during the winter. The Minneapolis Downtown Council partnered with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to make Holidazzle possible this year, and a big thank you goes out to MPRB for helping provide a great location for Holidazzle in 2015.

One of the biggest wins for this year’s Holidazzle in Loring Park was the space it provided for the Downtown Minneapolis skating rink to become a reality. The ice rink opened up on the first night of Holidazzle, and it provided a great opportunity for people to skate downtown under the sky—another Minnesota tradition. It has been a long time since downtown has had its own outdoor ice rink, and this skating rink will continue providing an opportunity for people to enjoy our Minnesota tradition. The rink will remain open past Holidazzle and will be usable during Loring Park hours through the end of the winter skating season. A big thanks to MPRB, Minneapolis SafeZone Collaborative, VEIT, Kraus-Anderson, Minneapolis Building & Construction Trades Council, Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, U.S. Bank and Love Your Melon for making the rink possible.

One of the things that made Holidazzle successful this year was the collaboration from our community that came together to make this event so much fun. There were over 30 partners and sponsors that took part in the event, and they all made it possible for you to come and enjoy yourself. There were so many bands and choirs that came out and performed throughout the run, Thursdays through Sundays, to provide holiday cheer and great music for all to enjoy. And there were excellent community organizations that came out to provide craft-making and projects for people of all ages—including The Food Group, American Swedish Institute and Minnesota United. All took the time to help make this event special for the kids and parents who wanted to stop by. The food, beverage and merchandise vendors—all with local ties—played a big role as well. They all wanted to take part in an experience that helps bring our community together, and they provided exceptional products to browse, sample and shop. And the Loring Park Neighborhood stepped up, too. The Citizens for a Loring Park Community, Friends of Loring Park and Loring Park Community Center all provided the free carriage rides through Loring Park on select evenings during Holidazzle. They were a big hit.

Plus, there was the spirit of the season that meant so much to individuals who came by. We had several couples who chose to get engaged at Holidazzle—one doing so at the center of the ice rink. Another with Santa Claus in the backdrop. One had an ice sculpture placed in the Loring Park neighborhood, carved to ask his girlfriend to marry him, then they came to Holidazzle to celebrate and commemorate. We saw so many families holding hands as they skated, so many young children on their dad’s shoulders as they watched our holiday movies. So many shared treats from vendors, so many laughs in the Holidazzle Warming House courtesy of CenterPoint Energy. It was a place to gather and share holiday spirit together.

Finally, a big thanks to the community for coming out and sharing your holiday season with us in Downtown Minneapolis. Part of what makes an extraordinary downtown is the type of experiences and crowds that come together. Holidazzle was able to bring people downtown throughout the day on Saturdays and Sundays and on weeknights on Thursdays and Fridays. By taking part, you helped in the 2025 Plan vision of creating an extraordinary downtown. The engagement helps provide vibrancy—something we certainly have here in Minneapolis.

Thanks to everyone for being part of Holidazzle. Happy Holidays to you all.