Officials to light Milwaukee Christmas Tree on Thursday

Posted at 7:01 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-16 12:23:24-05

MILWAUKEE -- We're only a couple of days away from Milwaukee’s 103rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and organizers said families are in for a big treat Thursday.

The Christmas spirit is returning to city hall and this year’s tree has a special meaning. David Caruso, the city's Christmas tree designer, tells TODAY'S TMJ4 the tree downtown will be making a signature statement this year.

“It truly is going to be the peoples Christmas tree…It really is going to be a tree unlike the city has ever seen before in 103 years," he said.

The design of this 38 ½ foot tall tree will be a celebration of our city decorated in ornaments that represent each and every neighborhood.

"We have a lot to be really excited about," Caruso said.

James Steeno is one of the local artists who decorated an ornament that will be on this year’s tree.

"I thought it was a really cool opportunity to represent our neighborhood and the city of Milwaukee…It kind of threw me off for a little bit because it's outside of my normal way of working,” Steeno said.

But he was more than excited to participate because he's connected to the tree; he only lives a few doors down from the family that donated it in Washington Heights.

"It's a tree that I walked by with my daughter on the way to school almost on a daily basis," Steeno said. 

And because of that link, creating his neighborhoods ornament was a special experience.

"I can't wait to see it on the tree," he said.

The 103rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Shortly after, the city’s Holiday Lights Festival will kick off.

Santa, free hot chocolate and activities for children will be going on at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.