Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse lead the magical parade — Photo courtesy of The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights FestivalThe shops along Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile may be decked out in their full holiday décor by October but the season doesn’t officially begin until Mickey and Minnie Mouse welcome guests during The BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. This year’s Lights Fest takes place on Saturday, November 23, and has become a tradition for Chicagoland families and visitors alike.
Santa greets parade attendees during the Lights Festival - Magnificent Mile — Photo courtesy of The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights FestivalCelebrating its 22nd year, the country’s largest holiday celebration welcomes more than one million guests to the Mag Mile. Families arrive as early as 11:00 am to partake in the various activities on Lights Festival Lane. As the clock nears 5:30 pm, guests stake their spot along the parade route and await Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they lead a magical parade of more than 40 spectacular floats, helium-filled balloons, marching bands and top musical performers.
Parade attendees at The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival — Photo courtesy of The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights FestivalAs Mickey and Minnie greet their guests and continue the procession, they’ll illuminate more than one million lights on 200 trees along The Magnificent Mile. They are joined by friends from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida much to the delight of big and little kids.
Live musical performances from popular artists including Debby Ryan and Dove Cameron provide more entertainment throughout the evening until the procession ends with a spectacular fireworks display over the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive at 6:55 pm.
Performers during The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival — Photo courtesy of The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
District shops, restaurants, hotels and local attractions feature special offers during and after the Lights Festival celebration.
The BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a free event that takes place at Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Avenue, on Saturday, November 23, 2013. A complete schedule of events and holiday offers will be available closer to the date on The Magnificent Mile website.