Holiday Lights Festival to illuminate downtown Milwaukee

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival

Milwaukee’s downtown will illuminate the city with more than 500,000 lights and dozens of animated displays during the 22nd annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.

The "snowcially-distanced" celebration kicks off on Thursday night, Nov. 19 and runs through Jan. 1.

The annual display of lights -- coordinated by Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District No. 21 -- will transform three downtown parks into winter wonderland scenes: “Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park, “Tinsel Town Express” at Pere Marquette Park and “Polar Plaza powered by We Energies” at Zeidler Union Square.

Additionally, the display will illuminate three downtown thoroughfares, including an 18-block stretch of lights along Wisconsin Avenue.

This year, the festival’s Jingle Bus service will also look slightly different. Pivoting from a warming house and motorcoach tour, guests can experience this year’s lighting displays through a virtual or self-guided audio tour of downtown’s most brilliant scenes.

The free, self-guided audio tour is available on the iHeartRadio app and features five episodes in both English and Spanish. Just type in “MKE Jingle Bus Tour” in the iHeartRadio app or anywhere where podcasts are hosted.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android.

Must-see destinations are also available for exploration online at, where users can discover lighted scenes from the comfort of home.

Among the new attractions for motorists and pedestrians will be window displays designed by Retailworks Inc. Featuring the likenesses of 15-plus, well-known Milwaukeeans, the four decorated storefronts can be found at 205 E. Wisconsin Ave., 324 E. Wisconsin Ave., 400 E. Wisconsin Ave. and 733-737 N. Milwaukee St.


2020 Christmas tree season kicked off with ceremonial cutting

Alice in Dairyland Julia Nunes marks the start of the 2020 Christmas tree season with a ceremonial tree cutting.