Key Milwaukee

November 2013

An A-Z visitors guide to Milwaukee Wisconsin. Sponsored by Key Magazine Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Page 39 of 63

Join the fun at Holiday Lights Festival kick-off extravaganza on Nov. 21 The 15th Annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, Nov. 21-Dec. 29, begins with a gala opening night on Thursday, Nov. 21. The six-week festival hosts a switch-flipping ceremony in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. Attracting over 5,000 guests annually, the celebration features music, dancing, Santa and a much-anticipated fireworks show. Park at North Jefferson and East Wells Streets and Zeidler Union Square at West Michigan between 3rd and 4th Streets. The cast of this year's Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kick-Off Extravaganza includes Spider George & The Web; Ice Beat Factory, an ice-sculpting performance group; Studio VIA; The Tempters; Danceworks; First Stage theater company performing a scene from "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever;" and the show's guest of honor, Santa Claus. Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21 is the organization responsible for the procurement, installment and maintenance of these decorations. The BID also coordinates the Nov. 21 kick-off ceremony in Pere Marquette Park. Entertainment begins at 6 p.m. At approximately 6:30 p.m., invited guests Governor Scott Walker, Mayor Tom Barrett, County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee aldermen lead the crowd in a countdown. Fireworks synchronized to holiday songs top off the program and free Jingle Bus rides operate from Pere Marquette Park, taking guests past all of downtown's newly lit decorations. Not-to-be-missed are the chandeliers suspended above Wisconsin Ave. Also delighting kids of all ages is the d├ęcor in Pere Marquette Park at West State and Old World 3rd Streets; Cathedral Square 40 The themes for each park are "Electric Elves" at Pere Marquette Park, "Community Spirit Park" at Cathedral Square Park and "Musical Bears" at Zeidler Union Square. After opening night, Jingle Bus rides operate from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 22-Dec. 29. The 40-minute tour is narrated by Milwaukee Downtown's Public Service Ambassadors. Rides are $1 per person and depart from The Shops of Grand Avenue's Center Court, Third Street and Wisconsin Avenue. For additional information on the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, phone 414-220-4700 or visit

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