'Tis the season! Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival beams bright Nov. 15 - Jan. 1

MILWAUKEE -- It's that time of year again! Milwaukee's downtown will shine with more than 500,000 lights and dozens of animated displays for the 20th annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Nov. 15 - Jan. 1.

Themed installations will be put up in three parks —“Community Spirit” at Cathedral Square Park, “Candy Cane Cove” at Pere Marquette Park and “Santa’s Lighted Lodge” at Zeidler Union Square—as well as street decorations along three downtown thoroughfares, including an 18-block stretch of lights along Wisconsin Avenue.

The lights will turn on on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. during the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. The show features live music, dance acts, thrilling feats and a visit from Santa Claus. A fireworks ceremony will then top off the night. Free cookies, hot cocoa and Jingle Bus rides presented by Meijer and powered by Coach USA will be made available to the thousands of guests in attendance. Pre-show entertainment will start at 5:30 p.m.

Want to see all three parks? Families can board the Jingle Bus presented by Meijer. The 40-minute tour, narrated by Milwaukee Downtown’s Public Service Ambassadors, is a no-fuss way to see the magic of downtown. Tours will depart from the Plankinton Clover Apartments, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., from 6 p.m. to 8:20 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, until Dec. 30. Rides are just $2 per person, cash only, and parking is available in the attached structure for $3. Please note the Jingle Bus will not operate on Thanksgiving.

For more information on the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, CLICK HERE.