Who doesn’t love a parade? On Saturday, November 19th, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival returns to kick off the holiday season in Chicago. The tradition is celebrating its 26th year and will feature a parade along Michigan Avenue, culminating in the lighting of over one million lights, bringing to life the trees on this historic street for the entire holiday season. Parade Grand Marshals Mickey and Minnie Mouse will lead the parade, as they travel their way past thousands of excited on-lookers. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is one of the largest Christmas holiday celebrations in the country and continues its tradition of being held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, ushering in the holiday shopping season along Michigan Avenue.
Festivities will kick off on Friday, November, 18th, in Pioneer Court, located at 4101 N. Michigan Avenue. Bring your Christmas wish list because Santa Claus will be listening to requests while a myriad of other holiday-themed family-friendly events will take place from 4pm-8pm. Bands will serenade attendees while local restaurants will fill bellies and satisfy sweet tooths.
While Friday serves as the appetizer, Saturday is the main dish. Activities will re-open at Pioneer Court at 11 am, but the day’s events will not conclude till well after 7 pm. Events in Pioneer Court will last until 3 pm, and roads will begin closing along Michigan Avenue to prepare for the parade. Starting at 5:30 pm, Disney characters will take to the streets on floats, accompanied by balloons, bands, dancing and more. During the parade, you’ll be able to see live performances from the teen group, Forever in Your Mind, and country sensation Jo Dee Messina. Rudolph, Santa, Frosty the Snowman, Muppets and other favorites will march in the parade, so have your cameras ready. Appearing on stage for the ABC7 live broadcast will also be the Blue Man Group and former member of 98 Degrees, Nick Lachey. As a grand finale, there will be a fireworks show at around 6:55 pm, at Michigan Avenue over the Chicago River.
The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is one of the city’s biggest events, so start making plans now! Be sure to visit their website for more details.