The bright lights and festive music from the annual Holidazzle parade have been replaced with the Holidazzle Village and Minneapolis Holiday Market, which opens Friday afternoon.
Families will be able to take a carousel ride, watch local celebrities read stories and see live reindeer at the new site on Nicollet Mall between 10th and 12 Streets. The Holidazzle Village also will feature items such as mulled wine, German candy and handmade gifts, and people can get their pictures taken with familiar Holidazzle parade characters like the light bulbs.
"It will really be this amazing experience where you can see, smell and taste your way through the market," said Leah Wong with Minneapolis Downtown Council.
The Holidazzle Village and Minneapolis Holiday Market will run through Wednesday, Dec. 24. The village will be free but the market will have a one-time fee of $3 to $6.
Opening night tonight will include fireworks and on Dec. 20 and 21 people can actually lace up their skates and glide around on artificial ice on Nicollet Mall between 10th and 11th Streets.
"The experience is all outside and one of the things that our mayor is leading the charge on is that we want to embrace winter," Wong said. "Minnesotans are hearty and they want to explore and play and be active in the winter. Part of changing up this Holidazzle experience is making it less passive, where you come down, watch the parade and leave -- but [instead] really where you can participate and be active."