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This past August, we hosted an unforgettable evening featuring an orchestrated boat cruise, a light show on the Hoan Bridge synced to an exclusive DJ Shawna set, spectacular fireworks show, and so much more!

It was the first to provide a transformative experience that took place on the Milwaukee River and shores of Lake Michigan.

This celebration of the Fresh Coast not only united residents and visitors but also served 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.

Ways to experience Hoanchella

Buy a ticket for the exclusive set w/ DJ Shawna

Bring your boat and sponsor a VIP Expereince at Lakeshore Park

RSVP for a Riverwalk Experience

Event Timeline

The HOANCHELLA boat event will start at Lakeshore Park and turn around at Lakefront Brewery. There are various riverwalk locations to view the boats and enjoy the music. Below is the timeline of events:

4PM - 6:30PM Boat tie up and live music from Roxie Beane at Lakeshore State Park Boat Slips! Everyone Welcome. Boat slips restricted to VIP Experience Package only
6:45PMVIP Experience boats leave Lakeshore Park and cruise down the Milwaukee River led by the Funktoon Wagon and Milwaukee Fire Department
7:45PMBoat cruise arrives at Lakefront Brewery and turns around
8:00PMBoats arrive at Edelweiss where DJ Shawna starts her performance and takes the lead with her VIP Boat attendees aboard the Miss Wisconsin
8:20PMMiss Wisconsin arrives at the Hoan Bridge and boats line up
8:30PMDJ Shawna performs curated music set synced to the Hoan Bridge lights
8:40PMLight the Hoan fireworks display
9:00PMMiss Wisconsin and VIP boats head to Lakeshore Park for private performance from DJ Shawna

Our VIP Experiences

VIP Cruise Experience

Ticket price includes:

  • Two-hour live music and production w/ DJ Shawna aboard the Miss Wisconsin from Edelweiss Cruises
  • Front row to fireworks experience
  • Custom Hoan Bridge light show synced to DJ Shawna
  • 2 Complimentary Cocktails
  • Digital copy of group overhead drone photo from Nate Vomhof
  • VIP Custom DJ Shawna t-shirt only available on the Miss Wisconsin from Edelweiss Cruises
  • Snack Bag thanks to our incredible sponsors
  • T-shirt cannon
  • Bubbles, light up stuff, and more!

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:

  • One boat slip at Lakeshore State Park on 8/17 with your name placed in front of slip 
  • Happy Hour at Lakeshore State Park starting at 4pm with live music from Roxie Beane and beverages from Lakefront Brewery
  • River cruise caravan led by the Milwaukee Fire Department, Funk Club Wagon and DJ Shawna
  • Front row to fireworks experience
  • Custom Hoan Bridge light show synced to DJ Shawna
  • Group overhead drone photo from Nate Vomhof
  • Additional DJ set from DJ Shawna at the shores of Discovery World
  • VIP Custom HOANCHELLA t-shirt
  • Custom Light the Hoan boat pennant
  • Custom Light the Hoan cooler including (4) LED rocks glasses, (4) LED keychain, and (4) Hoan can coolers
  • Wine, pre-made cocktails, beer and snacks thanks to our incredible sponsors
  • Support of Light the Hoan’s mission and the first to get a bulb on the east side of the bridge




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.


The Experience

Have FOMO and weren’t able to attend in 2023? Check out the video, relive the moments, and let the rhythm take you back to! So much magic packaged up in one!

Thank you to our past 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Light the Hoan, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations to it are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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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