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Holiday season kicks off in Milwaukee meaning more business for local bars and restaurants

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The holiday season started with a bang in downtown Milwaukee on Thursday evening.

Fireworks at the 19th annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival kicked things off at Pere Marquette Park.

The lights in the heart of downtown Milwaukee are brightening up the city, all while the nearby bar and restaurant owners say the holiday season lights up their business as well.

"Enjoying it with my family and seeing the lights, the music," said Karina Perea.

"It's pretty to be here, it's kind of chilly but it's fun to be here," said Diana Perea.

When they come downtown to check out the lights, the family makes a night of it in downtown Milwaukee.

"You definitely see an uptick in business once the lights go up," said Andy Fronec, Milwaukee Brat House.

It's the kind of family outing that local business owner Andy Fronec says makes the lead-up to New Years one of the busiest times of the year. 

"It's great to see the lights. People come down here, they have dinner and a couple of drinks. Plus the new Bucks arena, the Bucks are playing well too."

Lights also went on in Cathedral Square and Zeidler Union Square. The celebration lasts for the next 6 weeks. 

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