The city will brighten the holiday season with its annual tree-lighting ceremony at the village’s Root Common Park Nov. 30, complete with complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides, cocoa, cookies, cider and coffee.
The two-day Holiday Magic Weekend officially begins at 6 p.m. Friday, with Santa Claus arriving via fire engine to set the festivities aglow as the tree is lit. The McKinley Elementary School Choir will perform prior to Santa’s arrival, beginning at 5:45 p.m. Once Santa lights the tree, the Sophia’s Heart Foundation Choir will perform.
The Sophia’s Heart children’s choir, featuring the voices of 28 inner-city Milwaukee children, is a new addition to the ceremony this year and is certain to inspire, said Anne Kahl, marketing coordinator with the Village of Wauwatosa Business Improvement District.
“These kids are amazing,” Kahl said. “Every time I see them perform, I just want to go out and do great things in the world.”
Root Common Park is the Village's central outdoor gathering spot, where Wauwatosa and Harwood avenues meet.
Although the treats and carriage rides are free, the village BID is teaming with Arté Wine and Painting Studio’s fundraiser to collect canned goods or monetary donations for the Hunger Task Force.
Festivities on Friday include:
- Ornament crafts for kids, from 5-10 p.m., at Baskin Robbins, 1417 N. Wauwatosa Ave., with a raffle drawing every half hour;
- Cookie decorating for kids, from 5-10 p.m., at Yo Mama!, 1349 N. Wauwatosa Ave.;
- Holiday crafts for kids, from 6:30-9 p.m., at B Green, 7505 Harwood Ave.;
- Visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus after the tree-lighting ceremony, at Paulina Esthetics Boutique, 7601 Harwood Ave.; and
- Lighted horse-drawn carriage rides through the village until 9 p.m.
Village shops will be open late on Friday, and will welcome holiday revelers again on Saturday, Dec. 1, when the Holiday Magic Weekend continues. Horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, when B Green will again welcome children to create crafts.
The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble also will perform at Root Common Park Saturday, and will be giving out free CDs of their music, while supplies last.
The holiday weekend’s festivities are organized by the Village BID, and sponsored by WaterStone and PNC banks. The complimentary treats are provided by Café Hollander, Baskin Robbins and Firefly Bar and Grill.