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Kick off the holiday season with these weekend festivities. (Don't worry – there are plenty of events for Scrooges too.)

Holiday Fun

Holiday Lights Festival

Keep your spirits bright at this kick-off event on Thursday, November 16 for this long-running holiday festival in Downtown Milwaukee. There’ll be fireworks, a variety show and no less than 500,000 lights – illuminating thousands of smiling faces.

Photo courtesy of Holiday Folk Fair International

Holiday Folk Fair International

From Friday, November 17 to Sunday, November 19, cultures collide at this Wisconsin Expo Center (8200 W. Greenfield Ave., West Allis) fair, now in its 74th year, celebrating the diversity of Southeastern Wisconsin. Visitors can enjoy ethnic music and dance performances, shop for folk art at an international bazaar and sample food from near and far.

Photo by Getty Images

Milwaukee Holiday Parade

Since 1927, the city has ushered in the holiday season with a massive parade. On Saturday, November 18, stake out a spot along Kilbourn Avenue – you won’t want to miss the costume-clad marching bands, festive floats or giant balloons.


Beer

Photo courtesy of Company Brewing

Sours & Stouts Tap Takeover

Local breweries get to show their stuff at the Sours & Stouts Tap Takeover at Company Brewing (735 E. Center St.) on Thursday, November 16. Twelve Milwaukee breweries are bringing their best sours and stouts and the sipping starts at 6 p.m. It’s another great event put on by the Milwaukee Craft Brewery League.


Pop Culture

Liza Kessler. Photo by CJ Foeckler

Ex Fabula: Risking It

What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever done? On Friday, November 17 at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center (901 15th Ave.), you can listen to true tales about risks, and tell your own, at a story slam hosted by Ex Fabula. A live lit series “committed to strengthening community bonds through the art of storytelling,” Ex Fabula is now in its ninth season. 

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Theater

Photo by Mark Frohna

Annie

You’ll want to be there when the seven-time Tony-winning Broadway musical takes the Skylight Music Theatre (158 N. Broadway) stage, if only to sing along with the show’s infamous ode to tomorrow. Dog-lover alert: This will likely be your only opportunity to see a canine featured in a major role this year! The production kicks off Friday, November 17 and runs through December 27. 


St. Vincent

Photo by Nedda Afsari

Music

St. Vincent

With frenetic guitar solos and a majestic voice, St. Vincent (née Annie Clark) seems capable of cosmic destruction. 2014’s self-titled album felt like a planted flag: Clark discovered her own planet and she’s sending us interstellar transmissions. Catch her at The Riverside Theater (116 W. Wisconsin Ave.) this Friday, November 17 at 8 p.m.

Hippo Campus

The cerebral indie rockers behind Hippo Campus have released only one full-length album to date, but it’s a doozy. February’s Landmark catapulted them into the pop music stratosphere, and they’ve been flying high ever since, playing to huge crowds at Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and South by Southwest. Hippo Campus will perform at Turner Hall Ballroom (1040 N. 4th St.) on Sunday, November 19 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Landmark. Photo courtesy Hippo Campus

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