Chicago gears up for the 32nd annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on the 18th. Organized festivities include a myriad of family-oriented activities, performances, a parade, and a fireworks display to light up Michigan Avenue.
Walt Disney's Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as grand marshals, are scheduled to promptly start the parade at 5:30 p.m. Following them will be a remarkable display of floats, balloons, marching bands, and iconic musical acts. Special guest performers include "American Idol" star Colin Stough and the one and only Santa Claus.
Activities and giveaways for the two-day event begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Pioneer Court, plus opportunities to photograph with Santa Claus as reported by CBS Chicago. Street closures for the parade commence around 3 p.m. on Saturday, affecting DuSable Bridge and North Michigan Avenue specifically.
Airing on WLS-Ch. 7 at 6 p.m. on Sunday is the parade, to cater to those unable to attend or preferring to view from home. Additionally, encore broadcasts are slated for 4 p.m. on December 3 and 11 p.m. on December 10 according to Chicago Tribune.
Spectators for the parade and live fireworks are recommended to position themselves on Michigan Avenue's east side near Oak Street. Wheelchair-accessible viewing is suggested at the Plaza of the Americas. Meanwhile, for the fireworks, the recommendation is the DuSable Bridge on the Chicago River, starting at 6:55 p.m. on Saturday.
To smoothly navigate around road closures and traffic congestion, attendees are advised to plan transportation and parking in advance. Options for reserving parking include the SpotHero app and Millennium Garages. On public transportation, the CTA Red Line and Metra are recommended, with all details on the CTA's website. Metra additionally offers a $7 Saturday Day Pass with up to three children aged 11 and under traveling free with an adult fare payer.
Wendella is offering family-friendly river cruises as an alternative experience, with a prime view of the fireworks display. The view does not include, however, a view of the parade."
Bradley Borowiec, VP of the Wrigley Building, communicated his anticipation for this year's festival, revealing that there are "many surprises in store" according to CBS Chicago. In what's sure to be a festive period, Chicago residents and visitors are destined for magnificent holiday delights in this annual celebration.