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Holiday Lights Festival

November 18, 2021 January 1, 2022

Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St. 

Showcasing more than half a million lights, numerous brightly-colored animated displays, and safe, socially-distanced events, the family-friendly Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival presented by Johnson Financial Group returns to Downtown Milwaukee Nov. 18-Jan. 1.

“The holiday season is Downtown Milwaukee’s brightest time to shine,” said Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 CEO Beth Weirick. “We are so very grateful to our board, downtown stakeholders and the sponsors who help make this festival of lights possible. We look forward to hosting families, both near and far, for this Midwestern tradition, which is more than two decades in the making.”

People of all ages can experience the transformation of three parks into winter wonderlands this holiday season, including Pere Marquette Park’s “HiBEARnation Station,” Cathedral Square Park’s “Community Spirit Park,” and Zeidler Union Square’s “Home is Where the Hearth Is powered by We Energies.”

Zeidler Union Square, 301 W. Michigan St.
Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. 

The Self-Guided Jingle Bus Tour is now available as a free five-episode podcast, in Spanish and English. Explore downtown Milwaukee’s spectacular sights by visiting the iHeartRadio app and typing in “MKE Jingle Bus Tour.”

Through Dec. 12, kids can send their holiday gift wishes to Kris Kringle through the popular Santa’s Mailbox in Cathedral Square, presented by Educators Credit Union, Serving Older Adults and National Association of Letter Carriers Pioneer Branch 2. To receive a personalized letter from St. Nick, simply include a return address on the envelope—no postage is required!

Purchase a cherished holiday souvenir, the 21st edition of the annual Festival ornament, at shop.milwaukeedowntown.com

Hand-carved by Wisconsin artist Andrew Schumann, this year’s exquisite ornament features the Warner Marquee at the Bradley Symphony Center, the elegant and newly-renovated home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. 

The 2021 ornament is $19.95, plus shipping and handling. Past editions are available for $24.95, plus shipping and handling.

Nosh on tasty snacks while enjoying Downtown Milwaukee’s holiday glamour. From 5:30-8:30pm Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 3-18, visitors can purchase Jingle Joy bags ($15), full of goodies selected by Milwaukee Food & City Tours, at Zeidler Union Square’s Jingle Joy drive-thru. Cash and credit cards accepted.

A comprehensivebrochure details downtown Milwaukee’s many holiday events and activities, including diverse dining and shopping options, hotel accommodations, and vibrant nightlife. For more information visit milwaukeeholidaylights.com, or call (414) 220-4700 to receive a brochure by mail.


Milwaukee Downtown BID #21


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Milwaukee Downtown BID #21

301 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 106
Milwaukee, 53203
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