Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in Brief:
11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Parade steps off at 5:30 p.m.
Getting to the Festival by Public Transportation:
Parking at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival:
More About the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival:
Held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival marks the beginning of holiday shopping along North Michigan Avenue, a strip famous for its wide number of diverse stores and boutiques. Most shops will also have their holiday window displays in place, as well as extended shopping hours.
There are numerous fun activities for the entire family all day long, such as choir and theater performances, ice sculpting demonstrations, and live entertainment along the parade route. A full holiday activity guide can be found on the Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights website.
Speaking of the parade, it's certainly the highlight of the day. Mickey Mouse is the master of ceremonies, and as the parade heads south from Oak Street the more than one million lights along Michigan Avenue are illuminated all the way down the parade route. Immediately following the parade, there will be a fireworks display at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River.
And sure, I know it's a ploy by the merchants association to drive people into the stores, but I don't care -- the Mag Mile Lights Festival brings out the kid in young and old, and is a great way to start the Christmas season.