Join us for this old-fashioned Milwaukee favorite! Fireworks, tree lighting, Santa, and live reindeer kick off a festive month of holiday fun and shopping in the Historic Third Ward.
31st Annual Christmas in the Ward Schedule (tentative)
5:10: Rhythmic MKE- UWM A Cappella Group
5:30**: Milwaukee Police Band
6:05: Tree Lighting Ceremony Begins
6:25: The Bach Chamber Carolers
6:30-8:30: Santa in Jolly’s Outdoor Gingerbread House!
6:45: Trinity Irish Dancers
7:05: Winter fireworks over the river
7:25: Sussex Hamilton A Cappella Choir
** Indicates official start time of the event.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Join “Milwaukee’s Christmas Station” 95.7FM WRIT’s morning show personality Meg McKenzie as she emcees the tree lighting and leads you in celebration.
Santa Visits Jolly's Gingerbread House
Visit with Santa and let him know what's on your Christmas list. You can even have your photo taken with him for a $5 donation to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin. Photo booth by ShutterBox Entertainment. 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Yum! Holiday Cookies! Buy one or buy a dozen! All proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. A special thanks to our cookie sponsors! Batches, C. Adams Bakery, Colectivo Coffee Roasters, Hudson Business + Lounge, Patricia O’Brien & Co., Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin, SURG Restaurant Group, Tre Rivali.
Horse-drawn Carriage Rides*
See the neighborhood from a new perspective! Limited seating is available on a first come-first served basis. The line begins just north of the Journeyman hotel on Broadway at 5:30pm. Holiday music provided by Sigmund Snopek.
$3 Adult, $1 Child (12 and under).
5:30pm to 8:30pm
Hot chocolate and coffee will be available to warm you up. Our famous Cocoa Cocktails will be available for the adults and chestnuts will be roasting on an open fire for the whole family.
We are once again partnering with our friends at Broken Bat Brewing to serve you local brews, crafted right here in the Historic Third Ward!
Third Ward restaurants will be serving festive fare and kid-friendly food trucks will be on-site at Catalano Square. See all the neighborhood dining options.
* Indicates tickets are required.
Purchase your tickets at the Ticket Booth in Catalano Square. Cash only for all ticket sales and donations. We are unable to accept credit cards at this event.
Join us as we welcome Mrs. Claus and her reindeer back to Catalano Square. Santa's elves will be on hand to answer questions like "do reindeer really fly?" And "is Rudolph's nose really red?"
You'll BELIEVE when you see them...
A rare winter fireworks display will dazzle your senses as the rockets red glare bursts into life over the Milwaukee River.
Sing and dance along while you're entertained by the Milwaukee Police Band, Sussex Hamilton A Capella Choir, The Bach Chamber Choir Carolers, Cole Heinrich, and a special holiday performance by the Trinity Irish Dancers.
Kids will squeal with delight when they see Jolly & Ginger Gingerbread, and their friend, Frosty the Snowman!
The Art of the Red Kettle
Ten local artists have been selected to transform iconic Salvation Army red kettles by painting them with unique designs. You can donate to your favorite kettle.
Park your vehicle for just $5 in either of the Historic Third Ward parking structures on Friday, December 6 after 5pm. Structures are located at 212 N. Milwaukee Street and 225 E. Chicago Street.
Make your list, check it twice, then get all of your holiday shopping done in the national and locally owned shops of the Historic Third Ward. You'll find the perfect gifts for all the special people on your list. See all the neighborhood retailers.
Arts and Culture
Looking for more ways to celebrate the season? Take in a holiday performance or shop for art at neighborhood art galleries and studios. See all the Third Ward performing arts groups and galleries.
Joy To The World Carolers
Starting at noon on Saturday, December 7, visit the Historic Third Ward and catch the Joy to the World Carolers singing all around the neighborhood. Then, join them at the tree at 2pm to enjoy more holiday favorites!