Holiday Promenade


The holidays just got a little brighter in Des Moines! Last night’s Historic East Village Holiday Promenade was a sparkly, twinkly way to kick off the holiday shopping season. Even the weather cooperated — mostly. It was much warmer than it’s been here all week, and a few sprinkles didn’t seem to dampen spirits.

I hate to admit that hadn’t made it to this event before this year, even though this is the 13th annual Promenade. I always seem to have an excuse! But I’m so glad I went. Not only were the shops decorated for the holidays — and equally packed with merchandise and shoppers — but the entire Historic East Village was decked out in colored lights.


The good news, if you missed this event, is that visitors can continue to enjoy the lights and decorated shops throughout the holiday season.

Last night’s event, though mostly focused on shopping, also included horse-drawn trolley rides, dancers, carolers, and Nutcracker performances by Ballet Des Moines. Santa was nearby, too, at Brenton skating plaza.

I did not expect to find a table at any of the many East Village eateries, so I was surprised when I walked by Lucca and saw that it was not packed with people. Yes, please! And although the menu was a three-course prix fixe for $40 per person, the server kindly let me order just a first (salad) and second (pasta) course for a reduced price.



I had a wonderful, citrusy spring mix salad followed by to-die-for cheesy, oniony risotto…and a glass of pinot noir. Dave had spinach salad and some kind of beef. Even with the two courses, we were too full for dessert and ready to go back into the cool night air for some window shopping.


I haven’t been to East Village for a few months and it just seems like there are more shops than there used to be — plus some new services like a blow dry bar and a spa (although maybe they’ve been there for awhile and I just didn’t notice). We walked through Sticks and Raygun (above) — both were so crowded you could barely move. Mostly we just peeked into windows.



It’s definitely looking (and feeling) a lot more like Christmas! Happy Thanksgiving!


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