MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Every year a parade of colorful displays, lights, costumes, music and dancing celebrates the holidays on its path down Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis. For the first time since the tradition began in 1992, the 19th parade opened with a fireworks display.
More than 300,000 spectators attend the Holidazzle each year. This year, it will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 19. It starts on Nicollet Mall at 12th Street South and ends at 4th Street South.
At the season’s first parade Nov. 26, WCCO-TV’s Frank Vascellaro, Amelia Santaniello and Chris Shaffer covered it live. Here is their entire broadcast, divided into sections.
Watch The Holidazzle Preshow
First, they welcomed WCCO viewers and introduced the parade. It started with the “Fanfare” float, a Target-themed float headed by none other than Bullseye, Target’s bull terrier mascot. Then came the “Pinocchio” float, followed by the “Circus Train” float, filled with children dressed in warm animal costumes. Then the “Mother Goose” float, adorned with characters from well-loved nursery rhymes.
Holidazzle: Part 1
The next segment began with “Aladdin and His Magic Lamp,” a float presented by U.S. Bank. After that came the “Wizard of Oz” float from Mpls. St. Paul Magazine. Then, the spinning “Snowman Doodlebug” decorated in the image of Minnesota Twins’ homegrown star Joe Mauer, complete with signature sideburns. Then the “Princess and The Pe”a float, playing “Sleepless Blues” as sung by Debbie Duncan. Then came the marching band, which changes each night. Opening night it was the Minnesota Freedom Band.
Then, a break from the parade to see how holiday lights get recycled and where you can drop yours off.
Next came the “Hansel and Gretel” float, presented by the Star Tribune. Following that came the “Twinkle Bus” by Metro Transit. Finally for this segment is WCCO Radio and LiteFM’s choir float, which also changes every night. Opening night featured the Target Spots Choir, made up of Target “team members.”
Holidazzle: Part 2
In this segment, Shaffer spoke to Leah Wong, who told us about the Holidazzle Food Drive. Then came the “Captain Hook” float, complete with Peter Pan in the process of rescuing Wendy.
Holidazzle: Part 3
Finally came the finale — Santa Clause, and a few more fireworks.