Chicago is about to be lit.
Friday, November 19th is the day folks. The day that over one million lights will begin illuminating The Magnificent Mile for the holiday season. The stretch of Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Oak Street is one of the most magical places to embrace the festive cheer with more than 200 glistening trees offering a phenomenal spectacle in the heart of Chicago.
The holiday tree lighting ceremony will take place at 4 pm in The Wrigley Building Centennial Plaza on Friday, November 19, to kick off the festive weekend before Chicago’s iconic Tree-Lighting Parade will move down North Michigan Avenue on Saturday, November 20.
After going virtual last year, the enormous live parade returns to normal in 2021 making it even more special after the events of the last year. With the first recognized event taking place in 1949 Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile Lights Festival has grown and grown in scale and scope since. According to the festival’s Chairman Gail Spreen the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival “is the third-largest parade in the country, televised in over 91 percent of the United States.
Starting at 5:30 pm on Saturday, November 20, Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will guide the iconic parade of “fabulous floats, giant helium balloons, exciting marching bands, celebrities, musical performances,” and Santa on his sleigh down the Magnificent Mile flanked either side by the spellbinding lines of trees.
The event-filled Saturday begins at 11:00 am starting at Lights Festival Lane (401 North Michigan Avenue) with a free-admission outdoor festival. A festive thoroughfare of booths and family activities, including photos with Santa Claus, treats from Eli’s Cheesecake, a holiday DJ, and more will be taking place for any crowds that come out to embrace the festive cheer before the grand Tree-Lighting Parade takes off down North Michigan Avenue.
The BMO Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will be on ABC 7 Chicago at 6 pm on Sunday, November 21, with two additional broadcasts on Saturday, December 11 at 6 pm and on Saturday, December 25 at 12 pm.
More information can be found at themagnificentmile.com/lights-festival.