Burt Cohen & Holidazzle
What do you propose as an alternative to Holidazzle?
When we posed this question to notables all over the Twin Cities, their answers were clever, imaginative, and even fantastical. Resident columnist Burt Cohen had a few comments, by way of illustration.
"I'd like to see a winter race down Nicollet Mall. How about a sprint on hockey skates to see who's the fastest in Minneapolis?"
—Eric Dayton, co-owner of The Bachelor Farmer
"Holidays are about kids. And winter is something we do outside. So why not replace Holidazzle with a Kids Winter Activathon? Or how about sled dog drag races down Nicollet Mall?"
—Bill Hillsman, North Woods Advertising president and CEO
"How about adding a hat contest, with cash prizes, to the festivities? Imagine a sea of wildly expressive winter hats on Nicollet Mall—and sidewalks full of people amused not only by the parade but also by each other."
—Monica Moses, American Craft magazine editor-in-chief
"Let's flood Nicollet Avenue with ice bars! Downtown bars and restaurants could each create their own ice bar, and patrons can wander down the street for an ice bar pub crawl. Bring your mittens!"
—Elizabeth Ries, Twin Cities Live co-host
"I think Igloos on Parade would be a fun way to celebrate winter and bring people to downtown Minneapolis. It would be similar to Peanuts on Parade, with each igloo built of ice/snow and decorated in a unique style. Maybe representing holidays from around the world? Each dignitary could work with an MPS school to help decorate."
—Bernadeia Johnson, Minneapolis Public Schools superintendent
"In It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey is shown what Bedford Falls would have turned into without him: Pottersville—a town of sleazy bars and sin. Running parallel to Holidazzle on Nicollet, I'd like to create Pottersville on Hennepin. It would be like the old Block E with Moby Dick's Shinders, and the Fairmont Hotel. It would be a cold, Midwestern version of Mardi Gras debauchery."
—Alec Soth, photographer
"Drag an enormous Pillsbury Doughboy down the length of Nicollet Mall, bombarding him with microwave radiation; by the time he reaches Washington Avenue he'll be fully cooked and will yield approximately 2,000 fresh cookies for the crowd."
—James Lileks, Strib columnist
Line Nicollet Avenue with vendors in tents: everything from high-end winter fashions and models on catwalks from Macy's and other downtown retailers, to people selling mittens, snowmobiles, venison sausages, beer, and whatever else people need to buy in the winter.
—Andy Sturdevant, author and artist