In Holiday Guide

Downtown will get merry and bright starting Thursday night. (PHOTO: Milwaukee Downtown Facebook)

Merry OnMilwaukee Bucket List: Downtown Holiday Lights Festival

Since Thanksgiving is running late this year, it only makes sense to celebrate Christmas early. And there's few better ways to do exactly than the Downtown Holiday Lights Festival, which will officially flip the switch on merry and bright cheer on Thursday, Nov. 21.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Pere Marquette Park (with a preshow starting an hour before), the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kickoff Extravaganza will light up the November night with live musical performances, dancing, a fireworks ceremony, free Jingle Bus rides – 40-minute narrated tours of the holiday light displays – and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus. Plus, to help stay warm during a Wisconsin winter night, free cookies and hot cocoa courtesy of Taste of Home will be served.

The Downtown holiday lights will then light up three Milwaukee parks – Pere Marquette Park, Zeidler Union Square and Cathedral Square Park – and three Downtown streets, including 18 blocks of lights stretching down Wisconsin Avenue, throughout the rest of the holiday season until Jan. 1, 2020.

For more information on the Downtown Holiday Lights Festival, visit


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