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Photo Essay: 103 years of festive illumination

Thousands of Milwaukee residents joined the century-old tradition of the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting on November 17, returning to its historic location at City Hall.

The holiday celebration was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of lights installed downtown, with festive performances of music and dance, and a fireworks show along the river to kick-off the season.

These images from the tree lighting ceremony and the holiday lights festival show the multi-cultural spirit that does exist in Milwaukee. The events serve as an example of people coming together in community, to erode the city’s history of self-segregation.

© Photo

Lee Matz

Read the article and view the photo essay that were produced as companion features for this news report.

About The Author

Lee Matz

A Milwaukee native, Lee worked internationally for years as an award-winning foreign photojournalist based in Asia. He was also Wisconsin's first war correspondent to report from Ukraine in 2022. Lee proudly uses MCTS as the exclusive mode of transportation for covering all his local news assignments.