Things going on this week in the Downtown Minneapolis Area.
The 12th annual TCF Holidazzle Parade will light up Nicollet Mall next week, sending troops of electrified holiday floats down Downtown's main pedestrian thoroughfare.
Here's the scoop on the Holidazzle: Watching the parade: Days: Wednesdays-Sundays, beginning Friday, Nov. 28 until Dec. 28 (except Dec. 24) Time: 6:30-7 p.m. Where: Nicollet Mall, starting at South 12th Street, ending at South 4th Street What's New: The parade will feature inflatable costumes for the first time and new 8-foot-tall light bulbs in a variety of colors. Spectators will also receive programs, outlining the parade line-up, sponsors, and a guide on Downtown dining and shopping.
The parade will also feature special parades honoring Hanukkah (Dec. 20) and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26).
On Dec. 13, Metro Transit will offer free bus rides to and from the parade, 4-9 p.m.
Hot seats: Parade fans who want to avoid frigid weather have the option of watching the show from TCF "Hot Seats" -- grandstand seating at 12th and Nicollet Mall. Those who spend $150 at Downtown shops and restaurants from Nov. 23 to Dec. 28 are eligible for the seats. For information about where to redeem the seats, visit www.tcfholidazzle.com.
Donations: A "Circus Train" will float down the mall, seeking collections of food and money for the Emergency FoodShelf Network, a collection of 40 neighborhood food shelves in Hennepin County.
Cub Foods and American Express are also sponsoring a nonperishable food drive for a "Food and Cash Drive."
Arena 5K is Thursday
Thousands are expected to hit the streets Downtown on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27 in an early-morning 5K run sponsored by the Northwest Athletic Club.
As of Nov. 14, 1,800 people had registered for the Arena 5K, said Eric Wood, race director for the Northwest Athletic Club, 600 1st Ave. N. However, organizers are anticipating 7,500 runners for the 14th annual event, he said -- on par with last year's turnout.
The athletic club donates a portion of race proceeds to Second Harvest Heartland, an organization that provides groceries to more than 700 nonprofits in the state and western Wisconsin.
In 2002, the club donated $12,500 and five tons of food to Second Harvest.
The race starts at Hennepin Avenue and South 6th Street. Wheelers and joggers pushing strollers get a head start at 8:25 a.m., while the rest of the pack begins at 8:30 a.m.
Runners and walkers first head east to the Metrodome, then north to West River Parkway and then south, winding through the Warehouse District until the finish line in front of the Target Center.
To register, go to www.northwestac.com or www.active.com or signup at any Northwest Athletic Club Sport Shop. The race fee is $15 for members and $18 for nonmembers before Nov. 26. Race-day registration is $20 for members; $23 for nonmembers.
For more information, call the Northwest Athletic Club Arena 5K information line, 952-525-2565. -- Sarah McKenzie