Organizers of the 2004 TCF Holidazzle Parade announced plans to give away a $290,000 Lakeville home earlier this month at a news conference unveiling the parade's new blinking-blue mascot, Howie Dazzle.
This year, Howie Dazzle will start the evening parades by grabbing a "magic blue light bulb" that turns the tall, white snowman into a blue character. The mascot will sit above a "doodlebug" car that twirls and spins throughout Nicollet Mall.
The snowman will feature fiber optics capable of changing the character's color from white to blue four times during the parade.
During the Nov. 27 parade, TCF Bank officials will reveal the winner of the Lakeville model home. To do this, five contest finalists will be given keys to five doors, one of which will open and reveal the winner, said Mark Foster, TCF senior vice president and marketing director.
Those eligible for the home give-away include TCF account holders and those who open a new TCF checking account by Nov. 12. People can also enter the contest by mailing an entry to TCF with contact information. More information on the contest is available at www.tcfbank.com.
The parade will also feature new holiday-themed marching band uniforms lined with lit red and white stripes. Six new adult "hobo" clown costumes will appear on the Circus Train float. As the float weaves down Nicollet Mall, Cub Foods and American Express volunteers will collect money donations and nonperishable food items from parade spectators. The donations go to the Twin Cities-based Emergency Food Shelf Network.
The 2004 TCF Holidazzle Parade runs Wednesdays-Sundays, Nov. 26-Dec. 23. The Nov. 26 parade will start at 6:20 p.m. and be broadcast live on WCCO-TV for one hour. The rest of the parades will start at 6:30 p.m. and last 30 minutes.
The parade starts at South 12th Street & Nicollet Mall and ends at South 5th Street near the LRT line.
The Downtown Council organizes the event. About 6,000 corporate volunteers help out with the parade, said Lisa Dinndorf, vice president of marketing and membership for the Downtown Council.
"Our wintertime parades are still a one-of-a-kind event offered by no other city in the nation," she said, in a prepared statement. "With a twinkling new float featuring our mascot Howie Dazzle and an amazing home give-away from TCF Bank, this year's TCF Holidazzle brings excitement to everyone."
For more information, go to the parade's Web site, www.tcfholidazzle.com.