MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If you take a stroll along Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, there’s a feeling of Christmas in the air.
The Minneapolis Holiday Market in Peavey Plaza has more than 30 huts, with local and international vendors selling everything from candles to candies, as well as brats and beer.
“I think everyone’s gonna come down and experience it,” said Susan Tierney of Knocke’s Chocolates. “Ornaments and glasses and the taste of treats, the smell of these fresh roasted nuts is like no other.”
It’s part of the greater Holidazzle Village that runs from 10th to 12th streets along the mall. There you can find live music, story time and even reindeer.
“I’ve never seen a reindeer before, so that’s really cool,” said Leah Jones.
Leah Wong is the events and marketing vice president for the Minneapolis Downtown Council.
“Santa’s work shop, choirs, bands and of course the beloved Xcel Energy Light Bulbs,” Wong said.
The Holidazzle Village replaces the old tradition of the Holidazzle Parade, which ran for more than 20 years downtown. Coordinators wanted the new experience to be more interactive.
However, folks like the Hardley family say they were underwhelmed by opening night.
“I was not expecting one gate to be able to get into the village, so that was slightly a disappointment,” said Gina Hardley.
The Hardleys were also surprised by the fee to get into the market, which they say was not made clear on the website.
Nevertheless, it’s a winter wonderland in the city that offers something for everyone.
The Holidazzle Village is open until 8 p.m. Friday night and runs on weekends through December. It is free to the public.
The Minneapolis Holiday Market is open every day from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. There is a one-time, $3 – $6 fee you pay to get in, but then you can go for the rest of the season at no extra charge.
It is free Sunday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.