Clicking on the Web: The Holidazzle tradition
By Howard Lestrud - ECM Online Managing Editor
The Christmas season has many meanings for many of us. It is a time of the year when we relate to the Christmas Story and it is a time when we celebrate by adorning our residences and businesses with lighting displays.
Two of my neighbors in the city of Lino Lakes have put up extensive and beautiful lighting displays. It’s always enjoyable to travel around one’s neighborhood and see what type of Christmas lighting presentations have been created.
Regardless of where we reside, many have gotten in the Christmas spirit by displaying Christmas lighting on their homes and in their yards.
If you wish to see more professionally designed lighting displays and Christmas parades, just head to Minneapolis and St. Paul. Minneapolis has the ever-popular Holidazzle parade which runs until Dec. 23 and St. Paul has the dazzling IBEW Lights in the Park at Phalen Park.
Both Christmas projects are already under way with the parade and lighting display beginning just after Thanksgiving.
Let’s take a look at both extravaganzas by going to their websites.
The Target Holidazzle
This celebrated holiday tradition draws thousands to Downtown Minneapolis each parade night for an illuminated celebration of the city and the season. Go to http://www.holidazzle.com/
We read from a press release crafted by Lou Ann Olson and Danielle Pierce:
This year, parade-goers will see holiday nights in a whole new light when two new floats make their way along the Nicollet Mall parade route. Both the Grand Marshal and Choir floats will unveil new looks, similar to Target Holidazzle’s new theme and will feature enhanced LED lighting technology highlighting Minneapolis. The new experience will continue with the return of the Metro Transit Twinkle Bus as it will also debut enhanced LED lights that pulsate to holiday tunes.
In addition, there are even more opportunities to attend Target Holidazzle this season as four additional parades have been added to the regular schedule. Parades run Thursdays through Sundays at 6:30 p.m. continuing to Sunday, Dec. 23.
“We are delighted to be bringing even more Target Holidazzle fun to downtown Minneapolis this year,” said Leah Wong, vice president of events and marketing for the Minneapolis Downtown Council. “New floats and an additional weekend of parades will allow even more people to join us for this holiday tradition.”
Parade-goers will have an opportunity to help feed Minnesota’s hungry through the Ameriprise Financial Food & Cash Drive to benefit the Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN). Volunteers will walk the parade route nightly collecting non-perishable food and cash donations. In addition, people are invited to help take a bite out of hunger by texting “BITE” to 85944 and a $10 donation will be given to EFN. Ameriprise Financial will match donations up to $20,000, so a gift of $10 turns into $20 worth of food for Minnesota families in need.
Target Holidazzle details
• Free and open to the public
• Runs along Nicollet Mall between 12th and 4th Streets
• Thursdays through Sundays, from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23
• Parades begin at 6:30 p.m.
• Spectators generally begin to line-up along Nicollet Mall around 6 p.m.
• Parade goers tend to congregate between 7th and 9th Streets
• Visit Holidazzle.com for more details
Not everyone wants to bundle up and brave the Minnesota elements. That’s what Hot Seats are for. Hot Seats are enclosed, heated seats that serve free hot cocoa and cider. Hot Seats tend to sell out for the season quickly, so get yours now at Holidazzle.com to ensure availability. Cost is $9.
On Saturday, Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, Metro Transit will offer free bus and light rail rides to Target Holidazzle from 4-8 p.m.
Target Holidazzle is proudly produced by the Minneapolis Downtown Council. The parade is sponsored by Target, Ameriprise Financial, Xcel Energy, U.S. Bank, Minnesota Twins, University of Minnesota, Metro Transit, Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine, WCCO TV, WCCO Radio and BUZ’N.
Holiday Lights in the Park
To learn more about the displays and the schedule for the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Holiday Lights in the Park in partnership with King of Kings in Woodbury, go to http://www.lightsinthepark.org/
St. Paul’s Phalen Park is transformed into a fantasy of lights and color. More than 50 larger-than-life holiday sculptures and animated displays bring the season to life. The lighting display is open for viewers in vehicles from 5:30-10 p.m. nightly until Jan. 1, 2013. The location is at 1615 Phalen Drive E. in St. Paul.
Cost if $10 per vehicle, $8 value nights are Sundays through Thursdays, $15 for limo-passenger van/mini bus and $30 for coach bus.
All proceeds raised from the event benefit local charities. Funds raised will go to Second Harvest Heartland, Union Gospel Mission, St. Paul Parks Conservancy, and Under Construction, an organization that introduces students to construction trades
In addition to the light displays at Phalen Park, IBEW Holiday Lights is introducing a musical element this year. 15 of Minnesota’s finest musicians have come together to create a fresh new holiday CD to help raise funds for Holiday Lights. The CD titled “Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas” will be on sale for $10 at Phalen Park during the IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park event, in Twin Cities’ Target Stores and at other IBEW Holiday Lights events.
If you don’t get to the Holidazzle parade or to the Holiday Lights in the Park, check out your neigborhood lighting.
7163 Ivy Ridge Ct.
Lino Lakes, MN 55014
Tel. – 651-795-9295