What's the Hoopla? Holidays on Main St

posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at the Holiday Hoopla kickoff in Cedar Falls!

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, Cedar Falls Main Street is transformed into a holiday wonderland. It all begins with the Holiday Hoopla kickoff. Everyone on the “Nice List” will gather together on Main Street to see the surprise arrival of Santa, which changes every year. After Santa has arrived by his mysterious and magical means, there will be a parade down Main Street concluding with the lighting of the Hoopla Tree in Peter Melendy Park. Finally, Hoopla-goers will watch a wonderful winter fireworks show over the Cedar River.

Now in its eighth year, Holiday Hoopla has quickly become a tradition for so many families. The magic of the kickoff on Friday, November 25 carries through to the rest of the holiday season, with activities happening throughout December. A staple of Holiday Hoopla is Santa’s Workshop on the corner of 4th and Main streets, which is open on Thursdays and Saturdays through December 17. Stop by to chat with Santa and his elves, enter the coloring contest, or stroll down Main Street and vote for your favorite storefront decorated for the holidays. 

Hoopla tree, lit the day after Thanksgiving during the Holiday Hoopla kickoff in Cedar Falls

But, there’s more to Holiday Hoopla than its kick-off. Downtown Cedar Falls hosts several events and activities for the entire family. And, it’s not just the variety of activities that attracts so many families and shoppers during the Holiday Hoopla season. Downtown is home to unique shops, restaurants and nightclubs that are locally owned and operated – a perfect destination for holiday shopping!

The first of the jolly Thursday night events happening this year is Jingle & Mingle, a night of merchant open houses on Cedar Falls Main. On Thursday, December 1, come enjoy looking into those windows that have been decorated for the season, run into old friends, and maybe make a few new ones.

Breakfast at the North Pole is the following Saturday, December 3. Santa and friends will be joining breakfasters at the Cedar Falls Community Center. For just $6 a person, breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, coffee, and other beverages.

On Thursday, December 8 from 6 – 10, the Hoopla Cheer Contest will be in full swing. Judge the holiday concoctions (adult beverages) of participating business and vote for the winner via text message! 

Holiday Hoopla in Cedar Falls has events for the entire family!

On December 10, what better way to prepare for the huge meals of the holidays than Santa’s Snow Shuffle Fun Run/Walk? This Saturday morning 5K begins at St. Patrick’s School Gym, and includes a group and individual costume contest, a visit from Santa, and warm beverages after the race.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside on December 15 brings the unique art of ice sculpting to Cedar Falls Main. Come downtown to listen to festive music, vote in the Window Wonderland window display concert, and see the ice luminary display along Main. Instead of letting the cold get you down, bundle up and enjoy the beauty of the snow and ice.

The last event of Holiday Hoopla is Saturday, December 17: Movie Magic. Oster Regent Theatre will be showing a holiday movie in their historic theatre, and families from all around are welcome! This event is free and open to the public. 

The variety of activities makes certain that everyone in the family can get into the holiday spirit. Find a famous welcome and a helping of cheer at Cedar Falls Holiday Hoopla!

As always, if you’d like more information about Things to DoPlaces to Eat & Drink or a Place to Stay, we invite you to contact the Cedar Falls Visitor Center at 319-268-4266 (800-845-1955). We have the Holiday Hoopla brochure available and we'd be happy to mail you a copy. Or stop by the visitor center at 6510 Hudson Road and pick up a Holiday Hoopla brochure, visitor guide and a map!

Guest post by Hannah Carr-Murphy
All photos are courtesy Cedar Falls Community Main Street and Karen Everling

Santa's Workshop is part of Holiday Hoopla in Cedar Falls

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