BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Lights Festival2_Photo Credit - Davis Harrison Dion

I was pretty rude the other day. I talked all about ZED451’s Rooftop Wrap Party that follows the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Lights Festival, but I kind of left you hanging with details about the actual festival. Allow me to right this wrong by sharing some of the highlights of this year’s festival, which takes place on Saturday, November 23.

This is the 22nd Annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Lights Festival and it signifies the beginning of the holiday season. It’s actually the country’s largest evening holiday celebration. That’s right, Chicago has the largest, not LA and not New York, so lets all just run with the “fact” that, as a whole, we have the most holiday spirit in the country. Every year, over a million people make their way to the Magnificent Mile to enjoy a day of festivities of Lights Festival Lane, followed by the procession in the evening down North Michigan Avenue.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse serve as the grand marshals of a magical parade of more than 40 incredible floats, helium-filled balloons and marching bands. This is happening as 200 trees are illuminated with more than a whopping one million lights. There will also be celebrity guests, including singer-writer Debbie Gibson, Disney Channel’s Laura Marano and Mario Lopez and his family rallying the crowd with the “World’s Largest Holiday Carol” prior to the main parade. And you know any Holiday festival wouldn’t be complete without an appearance by Santa Claus, and to cap it all off, a fireworks show at the conclusion of the parade. There’s this and so much more happening at this year’s Magnificent Lights Festival, but the only way to enjoy it is to be there!

WHERE:           The Magnificent Mile district, Chicago, IL

Lights Festival Lane: Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Avenue

Lighting Procession: North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive


WHEN:            Saturday, November 23

11 am – 5 pm:

Lights Festival Lane offers live musical performances by top artists and dozens of family-friendly activities.

5:00 pm:

Mario Lopez leads “The World’s Largest Holiday Carol” down North Michigan Avenue.

5:30 pm:

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival lighting procession begins.

6:55 pm:

Lights Festival draws to a grand conclusion with a spectacular fireworks display over the Chicago River at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive.