'Holiday magic:' Cathedral Square Park is transforming into 'Community Spirit Park'

MILWAUKEE -- On Monday, Nov. 4, Cathedral Square Park was transformed into “Community Spirit Park" ahead of the 21st annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, Nov. 21 through Jan. 1.

Greg Peterson

On Monday, nearly 170 freshly-cut evergreens were delivered to the park.

"The month of November is pretty much dedicated to holiday lights, up until the opening night," said Greg Peterson, director of the Clean Sweep program with MKE Downtown.

Peterson said there as plenty to do before the Holiday Lights Festival's opening night on Nov. 21.

Community Spirit Park

Community Spirit Park

"It takes time to set everything up, then hook it up, then make sure everything's working," said Peterson.

Community Spirit Park

The MKE Downtown team often starts decorating before Halloween. 2019 was the first year they had to deal with measurable snow during setup.

"Never take the weather for granted, that's for sure," said Peterson.

The team planned to spend all week putting up the trees in time to be decorated by more than 100 community groups and schools.

Community Spirit Park

Community Spirit Park

"It brings the kids out and they get to share, what I consider, their little piece of holiday magic with the entire community," said Peterson.

The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival is coordinated by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 and includes themed installations in three parks—“Community Spirit Park” at Cathedral Square Park, “Polar Park” at Pere Marquette Park, and “Holiday Hearth powered by We Energies” at Zeidler Union Square—as well as street decorations along three downtown thoroughfares, including an 18-block stretch of chandeliers along Wisconsin Avenue.