COVID Christmas Downtown Mpls: Nutcracker windows, Mooby’s and cold

Grabbing for something festive during COVID Christmas we (Monica Nilsson and I) were pleased to find the Martin Patrick 3 holiday windows telling the story of the Nutcracker. It brings the fantasy to the streets.

I was feeling nostalgic for the old Dayton’s Holiday displays. They used to have them on the 8th floor of the department store. I remember long lines; I remember it being worth it. Apparently they produced these displays from 1963 to 2016. But it’s been well over 4 years since I’ve been. I don’t remember ever taking the girls; so it’s been more than 20 years since I’ve gone. But I did take the girls to the Christmas Lights on Grafton Street in Dublin – so they have their own holiday memories. But anyway, that’s what I was looking for today – a bit of normal Christmas.

Sadly, Dayton’s has nothing this year. In fact most of the shops on Nicollet Ave (traditionally a big shopping street downtown) are boarded up or otherwise protected after a summer of protests. (Important protests!) And the sidewalks are nearly clear of people due to COVID and cold I imagine. But Martin Patrick 3 rose to the occasion!

They partnered with Minnesota Dance Theater to create the amazing Nutcracker windows, using costumes from their (normally) annual production of Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy and various products from the upmarket shop. Sounds like they pulled together a team from old Dayton’s to make it happen. So I feel like we accomplished a little mission today.

We also walked by the Mooby’s popup take-away at First Avenue’s Depot restaurant. Mooby’s is a restaurant that shows up in a number of Kevin Smith’s movies (Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma). They have recreated it to provide food-to=go and merchandise in the spirit of Mooby’s with proceeds going to support First Ave. It was fun to see the blowup figures of Jay and Silent Bob and remember that Mallrats was filmed in the Twin Cities.

Big props for everyone doing everything they can do to keep a safe smile on our faces and keep the local businesses going!!

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