In Holiday Guide

Milwaukeeans watch the switch-flipping ceremony at a previous year's festivities. (PHOTO: Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival)

Holiday Lights Festival to illuminate Downtown visits, Nov. 21-Jan. 1

Milwaukee's Downtown will shine brightly Nov. 21-Jan. 1 as more than 500,000 lights and dozens of animated displays are set aglow for the 21st annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.

The annual display of lights, coordinated by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, will transform three downtown parks into winter wonderland scenes – "Community Spirit Park" at Cathedral Square Park, "Polar Park" at Pere Marquette Park and "Holiday Hearth powered by We Energies" at Zeidler Union Square – as well as street decorations along three downtown thoroughfares, including an 18-block stretch of lights along Wisconsin Avenue.

Downtown Milwaukee's holiday lights will officially ignite with a switch-flipping ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. The much-anticipated show, deemed the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kickoff Extravaganza, will feature live music, dance acts, thrilling feats, a visit from Santa Claus, and a fireworks ceremony. Free cookies and hot cocoa will be presented courtesy of Taste of Home, plus, free Jingle Bus rides will be made available to the thousands of guests in attendance.

"The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival packages everything our city has to offer during the holidays," said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. "Whether it's date night, a family outing or a girlfriends' getaway, there's something for everyone and it's all amid more than half a million lights."

Throughout the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, families can view all the decorated scenes aboard the Jingle Bus. The 40-minute narrated tour is a no-fuss way to see the magic of downtown, and best of all, rides are only $2 per person. Tours will depart from The Avenue, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., Thursdays through Sundays, from 6 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. until Dec. 29. Please note the Jingle Bus will operate free from Pere Marquette Park on kickoff night, Nov. 21. Also, the service will not operate on Thanksgiving Day.

For more information on the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, visit milwaukeeholidaylights.com.


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