Milwaukee Holiday Light Fest
Photo: Alan Herzberg

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 presents the 19th annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, Nov. 16 through Jan. 1. The six-week celebration begins on Nov. 16 with a switch-flipping ceremony at 6:30 p.m. in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee. The event features musical numbers, warm holiday treats, a fireworks show, and the show’s guest of honor, Santa Claus.

Performers in the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza include local music group Charles Walker Band; ice-carving artist Art Below Zero; Anita’s Dance Center; Hawaiian pop band Ocean Rush; jazz singer Jenny Thiel; soul-pop singer Lex Allen; Milwaukee Bucks Beats Drum Line and Bango.

The official switch-flipping ceremony, simultaneously lights the holiday décor in Pere Marquette Park, Cathedral Square Park and Zeidler Union Square, as well as downtown’s street-level decorations.

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, “Santa’s Polar Palace” sponsored by Zilber Property Group at Pere Marquette Park and “Downtown’s Yule Lounge” sponsored by We Energies Foundation at Zeidler Union Square. 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., Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 17 to Dec. 30. Rides are $2 per person and depart from The Shops of Grand Avenue – Center Court, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.

For more information, visit or call 414-220-4700.


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