By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Nov 09, 2023 at 5:56 PM

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Deer District (and not just because Bango is a close relative to reindeer) as the area around Fiserv Forum will turn into Cheer District for the holiday season, beginning next weekend. 

While the holiday-centric transformation will run throughout the festive season outside Fiserv Forum, the highlight of Cheer District will be the lighting of the official City of Milwaukee Christmas tree – calling Deer District its home for the second straight year – on Friday, Nov. 17.

“We are thrilled to continue the tradition of Cheer District, illuminated by the We Energies Foundation, once again this holiday season,” said Michael Belot, Senior Vice President of Bucks Ventures and Development, in a release. “The City of Milwaukee Christmas tree lighting is a tremendous celebration to begin the start of the holiday season in Downtown Milwaukee."

2023 marks the 110th year of the City of Milwaukee Christmas tree – the second-longest running official tree tradition in the U.S., just behind New York City. 

The official City Christmas tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, with performances from First Stage, Skylight Music Theatre, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Black Arts MKE. The switch will then officially flip on the City tree at 6 p.m., with the help of Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Bango, DJ Quadi, Santa Claus, and Rudolph, Vixen and Holly of Reindeer Games.

The festive fun will continue in Cheer District well beyond the tree lighting ceremony next Friday. The cheery block will also feature more than 30 other decorated Christmas trees around Fiserv Forum to go along with the glowing City tree, a Jack Daniel's barrel tree, B93.3's Letters to Santa mailbox, the Milwaukee Makers Market on Saturday, Nov. 18 – perfect for finding a locally made stocking stuffer – and, at the end of the festive season, fireworks on New Year's Eve. 

Jack Daniel's barrel treeX

For more information about Cheer District and the activities planned around Fiserv Forum this holiday season, click here. And stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for news and updates on more festive fun this Wisconsin winter!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.