Milwaukee Downtown, BID 21
Press Release

Downtown Milwaukee’s holiday lights go bright November 17

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

By - Nov 3rd, 2016 01:56 pm
Holiday Lights Fireworks 2011.

Holiday Lights Fireworks 2011.

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (November 3, 2016) – Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 will set the city aglow with the 18th annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, November 17 – January 1. The six-week celebration begins on Thursday, Nov. 17 with a switch-flipping ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. Featuring spirited performances, musical numbers, warm holiday treats, an incredible fireworks show and the show’s guest of honor, Santa Claus, the program will ignite a season of holiday cheer.

Performers in the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza include: local variety band, Platinum; USO-style trio, The Radio Rosies; Dance Academy of Mexico; professional fire performers, Brewcity Fire Brigade; local singer, Jenny Thiel; R&B soloists, Robin Adkins and Carol Molex; Elation Dance Center; and Fred Astaire Dance Studio. The show will begin at 6:30 p.m. with preshow entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m. The official switch-flipping will take place at approximately 7 p.m., simultaneously lighting the holiday décor in Pere Marquette Park, Cathedral Square Park and Zeidler Union Square, as well as downtown’s street-level decorations. A fireworks spectacular will round out the evening.

Following the ceremony, free Jingle Bus rides presented by Meijer will operate from Pere Marquette Park to take guests past all the newly lit scenes. Tour highlights will include chandeliers suspended above Wisconsin Avenue, plus “Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park presented by Madison Medical Affiliates, Ideal Property Management, Inc. and Milwaukee County Parks, “Snowflake Sparkle Square” at Pere Marquette Park presented by Zilber Property Group and Milwaukee County Parks, and “North Pole Power Depot” at Zeidler Union Square presented by We Energies Foundation and Milwaukee County Parks. Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21 is responsible for the procurement, installment and maintenance of these decorations.

After opening night, Jingle Bus rides presented by Meijer will operate from 6 to 8:20 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, November 18 – December 30. Rides are $1 per person and depart from The Shops of Grand Avenue – Center Court, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave.

About Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21

Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21, is an organization established in 1998 to support the interests of the downtown Milwaukee business community. Created through private sector leadership, Milwaukee Downtown is a management district organization that oversees 150 square blocks representing over 400 property owners in the center of downtown Milwaukee. The organization funds specific initiatives aimed at creating a clean, safe and friendly downtown, including the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by Milwaukee Downtown, BID 21

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival to set Downtown aglow Nov. 18 – Jan. 1

Six-week festival bundles more than a half million lights and downtown’s most cherished happenings

Downtown Milwaukee Dog Park wins $25,000 Bark for Your Park™ grant

Fundraising campaign continues at

Downtown Milwaukee to host “Inside Out Project: Citizenship for U.S.” on 16-city public art tour

Photo booth truck to visit Chase Tower at Water and Wisconsin on August 27

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us