A Fresh Coast Fundraiser to celebrate Milwaukee’s uniting landmark: The Hoan Bridge

Unique event will celebrate Milwaukee landmark while raising awareness to light up lake-facing side.

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Join us for this unforgettable evening featuring an orchestrated boat cruise led by the Funktoon Wagon, a light show on the Hoan Bridge synced to an exclusive DJ Shawna set, spectacular fireworks show, and so much more!

HOANCHELLA will be the first to provide a transformative experience that takes place on the Milwaukee River and shores of Lake Michigan.

This celebration of the Fresh Coast not only unites residents and visitors but also serves as a kickoff for lighting the East side of the Hoan Bridge, showcasing Milwaukee’s charm and inviting the world to experience our city’s magic.

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Ways to experience Hoanchella

Buy a ticket for one of our exclusive boats

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Bring your boat and sponsor a VIP Expereince at Lakeshore Park

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RSVP for a Riverwalk Experience

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Donate a Bulb

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Event Timeline

Hoancoming takes place on both land and water, with festivities lasting from 2PM until 11 PM. If you’re a parent, a zoomer, an arts aficionado, a boater, a Milwaukean, or a visitor, there’s something here for everyone.

Take a tour of our event line up and curate your own Hoancoming experience!

2PM – 4:00PM MKE With Kids ft. Kid Boogie Down / Pier Marquette Park Add all Riverwalk events here
5:45PM VIP Experience boats leave Lakeshore Park and cruise down the Milwaukee River led by the Funktoon Wagon and Milwaukee Fire Department
7:45PM Boat cruise arrives at Lakefront Brewery and turns around
8:00PM Boats arrive at Edelweiss where DJ Shawna starts her performance and takes the lead with her VIP Boat attendees aboard the Miss Wisconsin
8:20PM Miss Wisconsin arrives at the Hoan Bridge and boats line up
8:30PM DJ Shawna performs curated music set synced to the Hoan Bridge lights
8:40PM Light the Hoan fireworks display
9:00PM Miss Wisconsin and VIP boats head to Lakeshore Park for private performance from DJ Shawna

Our VIP Experiences

VIP Cruise Experience

Ticket price includes:


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
DJ Shawna’s Good Vibes Cruise ft. Radio Milwaukee
$ 99.00
40 available
Community Boat Cruise #2
$ 99.00
100 available
Retro 80's Cruise
$ 99.00
98 available
VIP Boat Experience at Lakeshore State Park Marina
$ 3,000.00
16 available
$ 2.00
100 available
Private Group Boats: 22-passenger
$ 1,980.00
2 available
Private Group Boat - 49-passenger
$ 3,430.00
2 available
Milwaukee Scavenger Pontoon Cruise
$ 25.00
12 available

VIP Boat Slip Experience – ONLY 1 LEFT!

Have a boat? A friend with a boat? Want to create a unique experience for your team or clients? Sponsor a boat slip to bring them to the VIP HOANCHELLA Experience!

Boat slips at Lakeshore Park will be available starting at 4pm with an overnight option included. You also have access to the slip ALL day Friday, August 18th for some more fun in the sun!

The VIP Boat Slip Experience also includes:




Boats and Tunes Riverside

Feel the pulse of the city as you soak in the vibrant atmosphere, surrounded by fellow music enthusiasts and locals who share your passion.

Riverwalk Viewing Areas Include:

  1. Pier Garden at The Starling which includes boardwalk bar with HOANCHELLA themed cocktails, and music from Milwaukee Airwaves.  You can also reserve a table for up to 4 of your friends and includes one free drink ticket per person from 7pm-9pm. Purchase your VIP table below.
  2. Hoan & Crockett” sponsored by Events by Design! Take advantage of this photo opportunity while being the first to dedicate a bulb on the east side of the Hoan! Patio opens at 4pm; Live DJ 6pm to 9pm. 
  3. The Tap Yard at Schlitz Park. Celebrate Downtown Employee Appreciate Week with a beer giveaway from 5pm – 8pm! BONUS: Trivia starts at 7pm!
  4. Lakefront Brewery will be  providing live music. This is also the turn around point for the boat cruise.


What you will experience

Join us for an unforgettable event featuring overnight boat slips at Lakeshore State Park, an orchestrated boat cruise, a synchronized light show on the Hoan Bridge to DJ Shawna, music by the Funktoon’s pontoon, and spectacular fireworks.

This celebration of the Fresh Coast not only unites residents and visitors but also serves as a kickoff for lighting the East side of the Hoan Bridge, showcasing Milwaukee’s charm and inviting the world to experience our city’s magic.

Donate now

Thank you to our sponsors

Thank you to our friends

About Light The Hoan

A collective of local business and civic leaders, Light the Hoan is nonprofit lighting up and uniting Milwaukee. In May 2018, the group launched a public crowdsourcing campaign to help raise more than $3.5 million to illuminate the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, the iconic tied-arch bridge spanning nearly two miles across Interstate 794. Since 2020, Light the Hoan has illuminated the city’s iconic bridge, creating awareness for local non-profits, providing valuable tech and creative experiences for Milwaukee’s young professionals, and serving as a source of pride for the community.

Light The Hoan

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my gift/ticket tax deductible?
Light the Hoan, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations to it are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
How are donations used?
The monies raised from the HOANCHELLA fundraising event will go towards installing 2,500 of computer-controlled LED lights to illuminate the Hoan Bridge on the east side of the bridge. A portion of the funds will also be put into a reserve fund to provide for regular bridge maintenance up to 10 years for both sides.
If I have a boat but do not want to purchase a VIP Boat Slip Experience, can I still attend?

Absolutely! We hope you will join us for music during Happy Hour at Lakeshore State Park from 4pm-6:30pm. We do ask that all the boats who are part of the VIP experience be guided first and kept together as we head up the river. We have put a lot of coordination into this guided experience with the Milwaukee Police and Fire Department for everyone’s safely. Please consider donating a bulb to support our fundraising efforts at www.lightthehoan.com.

Can we watch the light show and fireworks from our boats?

Of course, the Milwaukee River is open for everyone to enjoy! Please note that The Miss Wisconsin and VIP Boats will have right of way when we approach the Hoan Bridge for the light show set with DJ Shawna. The entire experience is being shot from multiple angles and the positioning of boats is being coordinated. You are welcome to find a spot after we have positioned ourselves. Please consider donating a bulb to support our fundraising efforts at https://www.lightthehoan.com.

Why should I purchase a VIP experience?
We are creating a multi-sensory extravaganza that pushes the boundaries of entertainment, offering an unforgettable experience for attendees. As a VIP, you get to be front row and experience this unique spectacle LIVE while we position Milwaukee as a beacon of innovation and creativity.
Will the Summerfest parking lots be open?

We have not coordinated any Summerfest parking lots to be open to the public that day. However, Irish Fest will be going on at the Henry Meier Festival grounds so please check out their website for more information on parking options.

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