Skip to main content
Garden of the Gods - Southern Illinois

For Distribution
Nov 18, 2016

Contact: Marla Cichowski

Illinois Partners with the Magnificent Mile Association to Celebrate 25 Years of the Holidays Lights Parade

Chicago Illinois Office of Tourism will join forces with the Magnificent Mile Association to make the 25th Annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival the best year yet. On November 18-19, visitors can ring in the 2016 holiday season with two days of free, family- friendly activities. The celebration culminates in an evening tree-lighting parade along North Michigan Avenue, which has become a beloved tradition in Chicago and across the nation via a one-hour television broadcast.

The action begins at Lights Festival Lane on Friday afternoon and continues throughout the day on Saturday. Before Saturday’s parade, Illinois will host special activities at the Enjoy Illinois tent, including animal demonstrations from Brookfield Zoo, tips for where to travel around the state, and special appearances from Abraham Lincoln and Santa Claus.

Grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World® will kick off the parade at 5:30 p.m. CST on Saturday evening as they lead a magical tree-lighting procession and illuminate more than one million lights along The Magnificent Mile. New this year, Enjoy Illinois will have a special Illinois-themed float in the parade. The procession also features spectacular floats, helium-filled balloons, marching bands and top musical performers.

Viewers from around the nation can also join in on the fun. The Lights Festival parade is broadcast live on ABC7 Chicago and aired in more than 90 percent of the nation during the holiday season, with repeat airings in multiple markets. 

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get inspired by top travel stories, gain access to exclusive promotions and contests, and discover even more reasons to #EnjoyIllinois.