‘HollyDazzle Festival of Lights’ to offer lots of festive activities to welcome the holidays this weekend

The Parade of Lights, cookie-decorating, s'more roasting, Christmas tree-lighting are among many activities planned for this free, family-friendly event

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The 7th Annual HollyDazzle Festival of Lights, sponsored by the Downtown Development Association, will host the Parade of Lights and many other free, family-friendly activities Sunday, Nov. 20, in downtown East Grand Forks and Grand Forks. This photo was taken in East Grand Forks last year during HollyDazzle festivities.
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GRAND FORKS — The seventh annual HollyDazzle Festival of Lights will offer plenty of festive fun Sunday, Nov. 20, to usher in the holidays, with activities in various locations in downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

The event, sponsored by the Downtown Development Association, opens with the Winter Market at The Spud Jr. Prohibition Room, where participants can get a head start on shopping for Christmas gifts.

Everyone is invited to a free showing of “The Grinch,” starring Jim Carrey, at 2 p.m. at River Cinema Theaters, according to Svea Benefield, DDA’s vice president for marketing. (The noon and 4:20 p.m. shows are also free.)

After the show, at 3:30 p.m., the Blue Moose Bar and Grill will host free carriage rides and a “touch-a-truck” display. A series of about eight large trucks — including construction and fire department trucks and an Xcel Energy boom truck — will be on hand for kids to see and explore, Benefield said.

During the HollyDazzle Festival of Lights, free carriage rides will be available near the riverside entrance to the Blue Moose Bar and Grill in East Grand Forks.
Photo by Russell Hons

The touch-a-truck idea “came about last year, when we realized that kids really enjoy interacting with very large trucks,” she said. So she and the DDA staff added that experience to Sunday’s events.


“HollyDazzle is always a heart-warming community event for people of all ages to enjoy,” said Blue Weber, DDA’s CEO. “It’s a great way to get the community together, get into the holiday spirit, and really kick off the holiday season.

“We also love that we connect both the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks communities through an event like this,” Weber said.

Also starting at 3:30 p.m. in downtown Grand Forks, more free family-friendly activities are planned, including cookie- and ornament-decorating, s’more roasting, and popcorn garland-making. For locations of these activities, which are scheduled to run until 5:30 p.m., visit the DDA website .

The art gallery in the Empire Arts Center will also be open from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The HollyDazzle Parade of Lights, sponsored by Blue Moose, starts at 5:30 p.m. and proceeds from Hugo’s, down DeMers Avenue and across the Sorlie Bridge into East Grand Forks; more than 30 units are expected to participate, Benefield said. The parade will be followed by the lighting ceremony for the 15-foot Christmas tree, powered by Xcel Energy, in Town Square.

The annual fireworks display over the Red River, sponsored by Rydell Cadillac, will cap off the festivities, and is expected to begin sometime between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m.

A fireworks display will cap off the HollyDazzle Festival of Lights near the Sorlie Bridge downtown on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. Fireworks are expected to begin sometime between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m.
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Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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