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What to Expect at the 12 Days of Promenade

12 Days of Promenade

November 10, 2020

The Holiday Promenade in the Historic East Village has had a long history of being one of the best ways to kick off the holiday season in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). It’s known for sparkling lights, cheerful carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, exclusive deals, delicious treats and of course, a visit from the big man himself, the one and only, Santa Claus. But we all know that this year is different. Bustling sidewalks, crowded stores and eating and drinking while you’re walking and talking are no longer a welcome sight. So, a dedicated committee of Historic East Village businesses and me, a dedicated event planner, have worked closely together to devise a plan to promenade once again, while keeping safety top of mind. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect at this year’s event.

The Holiday Promenade in 2020

First off, the event is 10 days longer then it usually is. That’s a lot! To be exact, The Promenade will feature event activities on six Sundays, Nov. 15 to Dec. 20, and stores will offer special deals on six Wednesdays, Nov. 18 to Dec. 23. Thus, our temporary name change to the 12 Days of Promenade. The extra days allow more opportunities for guests to enjoy and removes the urgency normally associated with a two-day event.

Event Activities

Using the extra days, we’ll be hosting one event activity each Sunday. First, we’ll kick it off with a scavenger hunt on Nov. 15, followed by horse-drawn carriage rides on Nov. 22, a visit from Santa on Nov. 29 and … I think you get the idea. There’s something different each week! Say goodbye to rushing to fit everything into one evening or afternoon. Here’s another bonus — most of the event activities are brand new and they are all outdoors.

In addition to the activities, Sundays will offer reserved parking meters for online pick-up. Just look for a bright red bow on the parking meter. You’ll also enjoy live music, photo opportunities and special pop-ups.

Special Business Deals

Wednesday nights are dedicated to shopping or dining. You can find a list of special deals and features outlined on our website, holidaypromenade.com, starting Monday, November 16. Check it often as we’ll update it when new deals become available. Shopping in the Historic East Village is a great way to find terrific gifts AND support local businesses. (We won’t tell if you only treat yourself.)

This will be a Mask Up event, so you won’t find tasty treats and drinks to sample at each of the businesses. Plan to make it a night out and get your fill of food and drinks at a Historic East Village restaurant, bar or café. Dine in or carry-out options abound throughout the neighborhood. As for crowds, individual businesses will mandate their own occupancy rates. Please be patient. The wait is in place to keep you safe.

After a challenging year, the 12 Days of Promenade aims to safely bring beauty, tradition, commerce, comfort and joy to the community this holiday season. As we work to string the lights, hang the tinsel and wrap it up in a bow, we hope that you’ll shop local all season long.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Colleen Murphy

Colleen Murphy is the Director of Community Relations for the Des Moines Arts Festival® and assisted with sponsorship for the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market.