By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Nov 20, 2019 at 3:16 PM

Since Thanksgiving is running late this year, it only makes sense to celebrate Christmas early. And there's few better ways to do exactly than the Downtown Holiday Lights Festival, which will officially flip the switch on merry and bright cheer on Thursday, Nov. 21.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Pere Marquette Park (with a preshow starting an hour before), the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival Kickoff Extravaganza will light up the November night with live musical performances, dancing, a fireworks ceremony, free Jingle Bus rides – 40-minute narrated tours of the holiday light displays – and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus. Plus, to help stay warm during a Wisconsin winter night, free cookies and hot cocoa courtesy of Taste of Home will be served.

The Downtown holiday lights will then light up three Milwaukee parks – Pere Marquette Park, Zeidler Union Square and Cathedral Square Park – and three Downtown streets, including 18 blocks of lights stretching down Wisconsin Avenue, throughout the rest of the holiday season until Jan. 1, 2020.

For more information on the Downtown Holiday Lights Festival, visit

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.