Dozens of Kingfield residents marched down Grand Avenue the evening of December 10, wearing lights and costumes, laughing and singing Christmas carols. The illuminated parade route began at Royal Grounds Coffee on 42nd Street and ended at Tap Society on 46th Street. The Kingfield Neighborhood Association dubbed the event the "Inaugural Kingfield Holidazzle."
The original reason for the parade was to honor the Royal Grounds owners, Jim and Joanne Heider. They were planning to sell their cafe to a new owner.
Neighbor Rick Hammond wanted to celebrate and thank them for a dozen years of service in the neighborhood. Hammond said he wanted to bring back the idea of a holiday parade bursting with lights. The Minneapolis Holidazzle Parade was a beloved institution, but the city has not held a parade as part of the Holidazzle event since 2013, Hammond told the assembled crowd before the parade began.
The potential Royal Grounds Coffee buyer's financing fell through a few days before the parade. Jim and Joanne will continue owning and running the cafe until a new buyer can be found. In the meantime, they served as honorary Grand Marshals for the parade. They opened their cafe and offered snacks and warm drinks to parade-goers.
When the parade began at 5:30 p.m, the parade-goers, bundled up against the cold, and many wearing festive costumes and lights, marched for four blocks up the middle of Grand Avenue. A strolling accordion player and portable speakers filled the night air with the strains of "A Holly Jolly Christmas."
Oncoming northbound traffic was encouraged by the mass of people to slow down and carefully pass. No collisions were reported.
Here is a video from the parade.
Jim Heider was moved by the neighborhood's show of support.
"It felt like the end of 'It's A Wonderful Life,'" he said. "It was quiet, and then there were a ton of people."
Jim was able to leave his coffee shop and ride along with the parade on his bike.
"It almost went by too quick," he said.
Royal Grounds is now closed for a month to vacation, to recharge, to hire additional staff, and to look for other potential buyers. Royal Grounds will announce the date of their 2023 reopening on social media.
Joel Dehn is a Kingfield resident. He can be reached at email@example.com.