The World's Largest Tap Dance Parade

Weird Nicollet Tour, Minneapolis

The World's Largest Tap Dance Parade

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407, United States

Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District


200 Block of Nicollet Mall

Here near 3rd Street once gathered the largest parade of tap dancers in the history of the United States. The parade took place in 1979, and involved over 1,800 tap dancers marching for two miles down Hennepin Avenue from here. The effort was sponsored by the Minnesota Dance Theater and the brain child of a local tap dance instructor named Beth Overmeyer, who recruited and choreographed the volunteer tappers.

The invite for dancers to show up was easy: Wear your tap shoes, wear red, white or blue, and learn the simple dance steps.

Overmeyer taught the tap steps over the phone, working individually with dance leaders long into the nights. The final parade ended up being three blocks long. According to Overmeyer, seniors came in World War II sailor suits. The Karamazov Brothers circus performers signed up to juggle, helicopters circled overhead when the starting whistle blew, and the police band came and played "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy." In 77 minutes they did the tap dance routine seven times.

The dance parade was particularly ironic given Minneapolis long-standing city-wide ordinance that prohibited “dancing in the street.” The rule was finally overturned in 2010.


This point of interest is part of the tour: Weird Nicollet Tour, Minneapolis


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to