The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is an annual holiday celebration held along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The Magnificent Mile is a stretch of Michigan Avenue with famous shopping... ... read more
The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is an annual holiday celebration held along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The Magnificent Mile is a stretch of Michigan Avenue with famous shopping and nightlife. The festival grounds span from Oak Street to Wacker Drive, with the Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza also being included in the celebration.
Officially inaugurated as the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in 1992, the lighting of the 50-foot Christmas tree at Water Tower Park as well as other trees along the Magnificent Mile has been a tradition since 1949. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival draws over a million people each year to participate in the revelry.
During the day, the festival features holiday events like meetings with Santa Clause and delicious Chicago delicacies such as Eli’s Cheesecake and Garrett’s Popcorn. However, the main event occurs in the early evening with the lighting parade which features elaborately decorated floats with helium-filled balloons floating overhead. The parade is led by Mickey and Minney Mouse as they conduct the lighting of over 200 trees and 1 million Christmas lights along Michigan Avenue. The night is capped off with a festive fireworks show over the Chicago River to officially signify the start of the holiday season.
There is no cost for attendance to the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, however since it is such a popular event, the Magnificent Mile becomes very crowded so early arrival is advised.