MILWAUKEE -- Parks around Milwaukee will soon be outfitted into costumes of their own —but it’s not for Halloween. The costume change is part of the 20th annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.
“It’s just a special time, it brings the community together and in this park, cathedral square, it’s actually called community spirit park,” Greg Peterson, director of Milwaukee's Clean Sweep Ambassador Program, said.
With the delivery of about 160 freshly chopped locally sourced evergreen trees delivered by festival sponsor and tree lot operator, Ideal Property Management, the community spirit is alive and well throughout the park already —but Monday’s truckload of timber only marks the start of what’s to come.
"Greg, we haven't even had Halloween yet. Why do you guys start so early?" I asked.
"Well, we're right on schedule, same as last year. Our opening night is November 15th. Starting next week Wednesday, the kids will be coming in to decorate. That process will take place over a one week period," Peterson said.
Peterson expects at least 3,000 students to leave a little holiday happiness on each three decorated.
“All those kids that are going to create all those ornaments, they’re going to share their little piece of holiday magic with the entire community,” Peterson said.
The festival coordinated by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 includes themed installations 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 Festival will officially begin 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.