Magic returns to Holiday Hoopla

Last year COVID-19 canceled a lot of Cedar Falls holiday cheer, and while Holiday Hoopla still tried to run, ask anyone who went how that went over. 

This year the event started at 6 p.m. on Nov. 26, and the first thing anyone noticed was actually being able to walk up and down the street. This was due to the first big change of the kick off, moving Santa’s village up to the new stage by Hurts Donuts. Of course the stores of main street’s windows were once again all decked out with drawings of elves, snowmen and even some good old fashion animatronic displays, but once you got past main street and down to the plaza, everything was almost exactly the same as before with some new additions. 

The stage hosted live bands singing covers of classic Christmas songs. Santa’s village was close by with bright lights decorating the queue, and, of course, characters in felted and more breathable cosplay-like costumes walked about taking pictures with excited families. Even some attendees dressed up with holiday cheer.

Nearby volunteers continued the traditions of selling hot cocoa courtesy of the tea cellar, and hoopla members sold light-up candy cane and tree bulb necklaces for $5 a piece. 

After a couple of hours of children excitedly visiting the workshop, parents walking the strip and teens enjoying the overall festivities, the main event finally arrived around 8 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus made their way through the excited crowd on a small decorative float, followed by a trolley of several pop culture characters, from classics like Buddy the Elf and the Chipmunks to newer sensations like the Trolls and Paw Patrol cast. 

The crowd followed hurriedly down to the river where the traditional tree lighting and fireworks commenced, wrapping up a successful and luckily the much awaited return to normal Hoopla.

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