Chicago's Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Kicks Off Holiday Season with Performances, Parade, and Fireworks

Chicago's Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Kicks Off Holiday Season with Performances, Parade, and FireworksHannah Whitted on Unsplash
Jo Marquez
Published on November 19, 2023

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival took place yesterday, November 18, in Chicago, marking the start of the holiday season. The festivities included performances, 40 floats, and a parade captained by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. NBC Chicago provided a guide for festival attendees, detailing street closures and parade activities.

A highlight of the festivities being the Lights Festival Lane, situated in Pioneer Court at 401 N. Michigan Ave. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors could partake in various activities such as a photo with Santa, sampling Dunkin' Donuts holiday drinks, and trying a NASCAR simulator. As ABC7 Chicago reported, before the main parade at 5:30 p.m., thousands of expected to engage with these attractions.

In the parade's lineup, musical performers such as Sister Sledge, The Funky Bunch, The Sugar Hill Gang, and American Idol's Colin Stough were present. Adding further to the musical fervor was a marching band consisting of 385 members, leading up to a finale float featuring Santa. At 7 p.m., the Wintrust Fireworks Spectacular illuminated the Chicago River, a stunning end to the day's activities.

Such an event of this magnitude necessitated considerable preparation, including numerous road closures. The DuSable Bridge and parts of North Michigan Avenue were closed from 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, for ensuring smooth proceedings. ABC7 Chicago shared a thorough list of road closures and timings for visitors and resident's convenience.

Wrapped in the festive joy and spectacle, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is much more than a celebration, creating a unified, shared experience during the holiday season. Avid for residents and visitors, the festival spreads hope and happiness in the chilling temperatures of the Windy City.

ABC7 Chicago has granted the missed attendees and those desiring to reminisce, broadcasts of the Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on their website. This enables audiences nationwide to be privy to the magic of the Chicago-style holidays. The stunning parade and the fireworks display get upstaged against the backdrop of a million twinkling lights lining Michigan Avenue.