The Great Mystery of Which Radio Station Will Play Christmas Music First

It’s a big secret, but here’s what we know so far.

When the leaves fall and the sweet summer air begins to fade into the crisp forties of October, that is the time to dust off your radio, put on a sweater and listen to Christmas music. Wait… isn’t it a little early for that?

This year – we aren’t too sure it is. With trick-or-treat being cancelled and the search for a jolly-ole-time needed more than ever, stores are busting out the holidays stuff earlier than years past. We asked local radio stations if they will jump on the early-holiday train this year and play the first yuletide carols.

But they wouldn’t tell us. We reached out to all of the usual suspects, B93.3, 95.7 BIG FM, 105.1 The Mix… all of them are keeping their lips sealed about when they will flip the switch from their usual lineups to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Apparently, we, like everyone else, will have the first “Jingle Bells” of the season revealed to us at some point in the next few weeks.

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As we try to solve the puzzle of which station will be the first and grapple with the fact that the holiday season starts at times unbeknownst to anyone but the radio stations, Costco and probably Santa, we figured we could share what we do know:

Milwaukee’s B93.3 is holding on pretty tightly to the date they’ll crossover. Last year, they were the first to make the switch. The adult contemporary station told MilMag that even though they cannot say when they’ll start the Christmas music, they promise to be “Milwaukee’s Home for the Holidays” again this year.

Milwaukee’s Oldies station 95.7 BIG FM always plays Christmas music throughout the holiday season too. They also made the switch pretty early last year, playing their first holiday tunes on Nov. 19. It will be interesting to see if they keep that mid-November date or if it will move up given the circumstances.

Madison’s 105.1 The Mix told us that last year they began playing their holly jolly tunes on Halloween. They said it will be around that time again this year but didn’t say exactly when. While they are not in Milwaukee, you can still tune in and listen to them here, so they are definitely a contender in this first-Christmas-song-showdown.

So, who will be the first this year? We will just have to wait and see. In the meantime, we are going to go pick some pumpkins, visit some haunted houses and tune in to these radio stations to see who will ring in the season.

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Brianna Schubert is an editorial intern at Milwaukee Magazine. She is studying journalism, psychology and Spanish and is in the Honors College at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.