MOA going all out for shoppers

Published 1:07 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BLOOMINGTON — Mall of America will mark Black Friday with a concert by a British boy band, a Thanksgiving ride-a-thon at Nick Universe and the return of its popular wristband promotion.

The nation’s largest shopping mall always draws big crowds to Bloomington over the long Thanksgiving weekend. This season MOA is also fueling the buzz with a new pair of holiday light shows, a Twitter-fueled blizzard — and more parking spaces.

“We always do a lot during the holidays, but I think it’s a new competitive environment and we really pulled out all the stops this holiday,” said Maureen Bausch, executive vice president at Mall of America.

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On Thanksgiving night, the mall’s Nickelodeon Universe theme park will host a charity event, offering a $10 wristband to access unlimited rides between 6 p.m. and midnight. All proceeds will go to Folds of Honor, a charitable group that helps families of servicemembers killed or wounded in action.

“We’re opening the park for charity on Thanksgiving night, which we’ve never done before,” Bausch said Wednesday. “We thought, well, if people are going to be here shopping, then maybe they’ll want to bring their families, and let’s give back.”

Most of the mall’s retailers will open their doors starting at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving, although as always, there are hold-outs, most famously the department store Nordstrom.

On Friday, Nov. 28, the British boy band Rixton — best known for the song “Me and My Broken Heart” — will perform in the mall’s rotunda. Along with the 2 p.m. concert, the band will sign autographs.