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River Dazzle kicks off the holiday season

While mom was serving chili at the River Dazzle Chili Crawl, father and son, Steve (left) and Louie, 1-½, Bernard of River Falls, visited the donkey, camel, pony and reindeer at Veterans Park.2 / 13
Four-year-old Adelyn Nelson and her eight-year-old brother Brennan Nelson, both of Hudson, take a look at some reindeer during the River Falls Chamber of Commerce's annual River Dazzle celebration. The reindeer were one of several family friendly events during the celebration. Adelyn and Brennan's mother Jennifer Nelson said visiting River Dazzle each year is a family tradition.3 / 13
Four-year-old Marshall Friese admires a reindeer at the River Falls Chamber of Commerce sponsored River Dazzle event Friday, Nov. 29. Friese and his mother Jenny (not shown), both of River Falls, had lots of fun at the event.4 / 13
Kids, parents, and grandparents enjoyed a horse drawn wagon ride down the White Pathway. At night the wagon was lit up with Christmas lights.5 / 13
While waiting to see Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, five-year old Chloe Ellis, a student at Rocky Branch, got a lollipop painted onto her arm by Zaney Janey of De-Vine Designz. Chloe is hoping that Santa brings her a loom bands set and the American Girl gymnastics set.6 / 13
Modeling a dress made from newspaper ads is Kathryn Field. Field, sporting hair and makeup by the River Falls Spa, was a model at the Wearable Art Show, held annually during River Dazzle.7 / 13
Crowds moved about from place to place at last Friday’s annual after-Thanksgiving event, River Dazzle. The chamber-sponsored activities included a visit to Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the elves. Shown, Ian Baumer, 2-½, touches Santa’s beard to make sure it’s real. He was accompanied by his mom Rachel (left). 8 / 13
Santa, Rudolf and Mrs. Claus (facing away from camera) finished off the River Dazzle parade Saturday night. They were also joined by some Sesame Street characters and elves. Santa’s float was followed by a troop of elves and reindeer.9 / 13
Riding on a float inspired by the “Island of Misfit Toys” from the holiday classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” during Friday’s annual River Dazzle event, are, from left: Megan Faustini, River Falls Royal Ambassador; Stephanie Peterson, River Falls Royal Ambassador; Hannah Tulgren, River Falls Grand Royal Ambassador; and Tessa Balsiger, River Falls First Royal Ambassador.10 / 13
Matt (right) and Isaiah Shipp bundled up in sleeping bags to ward off the chill Friday night as they watched the River Dazzle parade. The Shipps attend River Dazzle every year, but this was the first year they tried using sleeping bags to keep warm.11 / 13
Those marching in the River Dazzle parade kept the Holiday theme with lights, decorations and costumes dressing as everything from elves to Christmas trees to a gingerbread man.12 / 13
The River Dazzle parade was full of costumes. A Christmas Tree and even a Unicorn made their way down Main Street.13 / 13

Many River Falls residents participated in the 16th annual River Falls Chamber of Commerce sponsored River Dazzle event Friday, Nov. 29. The event also drew in people from the surrounding area, including Prescott and Hudson. 

River Dazzle featured many activities including the 8th annual Chili Crawl at participating downtown businesses, Photos with Santa nad Mrs. Claus at the Mercantile, 176 N. Riverwalk, reindeer on display, cookie decorating in the Best Western Campus Inn ballroom, free horse-drawn wagon rides around town, a "Wearable Art" fashion show inside Gallery 120, 120 N. Main St. and the River Dazzle parade on Main Street.

For more River Dazzle photos, see the Dec. 5 print edition of the River Falls Journal.