Milwaukee Downtown BID 21
Press Release

Downtown Milwaukee ignites its holiday cheer on November 19

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off to feature switch-flipping ceremony, music and fireworks

By - Oct 19th, 2015 02:24 pm

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (October 19, 2015) – Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21 will electrify the city with the 17th Annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, November 19 – December 27. The six-week festival comes to light on Thursday, Nov. 19 with a switch-flipping ceremony at 6 p.m. in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. Attracting over 5,000 guests annually, the celebration features musical performances, warm holiday treats, Santa and a dazzling fireworks show to round out the evening.

Performers in the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza include country singer, Nora Collins; Anita’s Dance Center; Chandelier Circus; DJ Shawna; Milwaukee’s “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant, Christopher Gilbert; dancer and singer, Nastassja Bates; Studio VIA; and, the show’s guest of honor, Santa Claus. The show will begin at 6 p.m. The official switch-flipping will take place at approximately 6:35 p.m., which will simultaneously light the holiday décor in Pere Marquette Park, Cathedral Square Park and Zeidler Union Square, as well as downtown’s street-level decorations. The kick-off celebration will conclude with fireworks synchronized to holiday music and free Jingle Bus rides presented by Meijer operating from Pere Marquette Park, taking guests past all the newly lit scenes.

Brightly captivating scenes will include chandeliers suspended above Wisconsin Avenue, plus “Holiday Palace Park” at Pere Marquette Park, “Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park and “Toy Chest Park” at Zeidler Union Square. Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21 is responsible for the procurement, installment and maintenance of these decorations. They also coordinate the November 19th kick-off ceremony in Pere Marquette Park.

After opening night, Jingle Bus rides presented by Meijer will operate from 6 p.m. to 8:20 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, November 19 – December 27. The 40-minute tour is narrated by Milwaukee Downtown’s Public Service Ambassadors. Rides are $1 per person and depart from The Shops of Grand Avenue – Center Court, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave.

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