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Downtown Milwaukee powers up its holiday lights on Nov. 15

Nov. 8, 2012

It’s that time of year! Time for the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival to get the holiday season started with a bang. Back for its 14th season, the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 15 in Pere Marquette Park.

Bundle up the kids for an evening of spectacular festivities starting with a 5:45 p.m. pre-show by Spider George & The Web. Once 6 p.m. rolls around, you can expect non-stop entertainment that holiday enthusiasts, young and old, can revel in. With live music performed by the Holy Redeemer Gospel Choir, Robin Adkins, Jenny Thiel and Spider George & The Web, you better stretch your vocal cords! Like Buddy the Elf once said, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”

The fun doesn’t stop there. As the night continues, performances by Danceworks, Milwaukee Ballet School & Academy and Studio VIA will unfold. If that doesn’t get the youngsters groovin’, they’ll be sure to scream and shout once the big man himself shows up. That’s right, Santa Claus will do the honors of lighting up Milwaukee’s downtown holiday décor at 6:30 p.m. Once the switch is flipped, look up into the sky for a special holiday-themed fireworks display.

If any of your little elves are getting tuckered out, make sure to enjoy free hot cocoa and cookies! Compliments of Cousins Subs®, PNC and the PNC Smile Squad, these festive treats and beverages will be available throughout the night while supplies last.

Don’t leave the scene too quickly! If you’re still feeling jolly, hop aboard the Jingle Bus, free on kick-off night, and tour downtown’s other sights aboard a comfy Coach USA bus. Highlighted scenes include “Santa’s Toyland” at Pere Marquette Park, “Playful Penguins” at Zeidler Union Square and “Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park.

If you can’t make opening night, downtown parks and streets will be illuminated through Dec. 31. Plus, Jingle Bus rides will continue to operate Thursdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Shops of Grand Avenue – Center Court, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave., for $1 per person.

It’s time to dust off your Santa hats and put on your holiday cheer! A brilliant night awaits downtown. For more info, visit

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