It isn’t just about shopping and family get-togethers. The holidays are also full of special events—some of which have become traditions in their own right--for Roseville and other Twin Cities area residents.
Here are some of the local favorites:
The Target Holidazzle Parade is in its 11th year and has become a Minneapolis institution. Sponsored by the downtown council, the Holidazzle was originally created to encourage downtown shopping.
The 2011 parade runs Thursdays through Sundays, concluding Dec. 18. The parade runs down Nicollet Mall from 12th to 4th Street and begins at 6:30 p.m.
Macy’s Eight Floor Holiday Display
2011 marks the 49th year kids and their families have been treated to a Christmas extravaganza on the eight floor of Macy’s, the former Dayton’s Department Store at 700 Nicollet in Minneapolis.
Visitors can get an inside look at “A Day in the Life of an Elf.” Afterwards, a visit with Santa or a trip through the Santa’s Toy Shop is in store. The display is open every day through Dec. 31, except Christmas Day. A complete schedule is available on their website.
The 86th Annual Holiday Flower Show in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory begins on Saturday, Dec. 3 and, this year, features an ice and frost theme; it will include five brand new poinsettia cultivars.
The Conservatory will be open from 8 to 10 a.m. Dec. 4 for folks who want bring in their cameras and snap a Christmas card picture in front of the display.
A wonderful tradition for moms and daughters, grandmothers or sisters, the annual holiday tea will be held Dec. 9, with seating at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The elegant three-course tea costs $45 and includes a behind-the scenes tour of the conservatory.
Now in its 48th year, the Nutcracker has been a must-see holiday event for generations of Minnesotans and, this year, the venue is the recently completed Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts.
Performance dates are from Dec. 23 through Dec. 31 except Christmas Day. All tickets are $36.
A Christmas Carol is a 37-year Guthrie Theater tradition that keeps reinventing itself.
According to Guthrie director of communications Quintin Skinner, this will be the second year the company will be performing a new adaptation by playwright Crispin Whittell and also the second year artistic director Joe Dowling will be directing the show.
For the first time, actor JC Cutler will take the stage as Scrooge. There also are new scenic elements this year and the costumes are in the midst of a multi-year replacement project.
Skinner thinks the play has become a local tradition because it is a very big and warmhearted show that is also wildly entertaining and affirms people’s capacity for redemption and transformation.
The Story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation from ‘Bah Humbug’ to ‘Merry Christmas’ runs from Dec. 19 -31 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Opening night is already sold out, but at the time this article was written, tickets remained for the other performances.
Ticket prices range from $34 to $73 depending on day of the week and seat location.
The St. Olaf Christmas tradition began in 1912 and each year features more than 500 students from the college.
Tickets are sold out but the program will be simulcast to movie theaters around the country on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Locally, the concert can be viewed at these theaters with a preview at 2:30 and show beginning at 3 p.m.
A James J Hill House staffer describes Hill House Holidays as an interactive play in which visitors follow costumed actors throughout the house to experience the excitement as servants prepare the home for a Christmas celebration.
In its 20th year, Hill House Holiday runs on Saturday and Sunday the first three weekends in December. Prices range from $10 for adults to $6 for children 6-17. Tours begin every 30 minutes from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Other than the $2 Minnesota Historical Society member discount, no passes or discounts are allowed.
Devotees of the Penumbra Theater’s Black Nativity may be disappointed to discover the theater will not be mounting a production of their Black Nativity this year.
Penumbra Marking Director Julie McGarvie did say the theater is extending their current production, I Wish You Love another two weeks. It now runs through through Dec. 18.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Back for a sixth year, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play will once again be staged at the historic St. Paul Hotel and includes a three-course meal and optional social hour with a cash bar.
Performances for this adaptation of the Frank Capra 1946 classic begin Monday, Dec. 12 and run through Friday, Dec. 23. Ticket prices for the 2 p.m. luncheon matinee are $55; the 7 p.m. dinner show costs $75.
The hotel itself will be decked out in holiday splendor and the nearby Rice Park will be a winter wonderland of twinkling lights.
Many people think it’s just not Christmas without a rousing Hallelujah Chorus.
According to Minnesota Orchestra Public Relations Coordinator Sandi Brown, the orchestra first performed the Messiah in its 1903 inaugural season, when it was conducted by music director Emil Oberhoffer.
Through the years, the orchestra has performed the piece at Lyceum Theatre, Minneapolis Auditorium, O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, Cathedral of Saint Paul, Basilica of St. Mary, and Orchestra Hall. The performances range from 70 percent full to sold out.
This year, the Minnesota Orchestra will be offering three performances of Handel’s Messiah: at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Dec. 7, 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.
Ticket prices range from $22 to $55.