The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Lights, floats, marching bands, balloons, fireworks and musical performers all made up the spectacular Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.


Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!

Are you excited about the holiday? I’m super excited this year! Typically I don’t get into the Christmas spirit until after Thanksgiving, but this year was different.

After attending The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, I was definitely in the holiday spirit!


Even though we only live about 90 minutes away from Chicago, we don’t get up there very often. However, every time we do, we always say that we need to go back more often. This trip we had a couple things on the agenda. First, we planned a little window shopping (always the best in Chicago) and then we would see the Christmas parade.

With all the boys either in college or living on their own, we don’t have the opportunity to make trips together much anymore. Our youngest son, middle son and his girlfriend, Doug and I all piled in the van and headed toward Chicago. The weather was brisk but beautiful.


After doing a bit of window shopping, we headed down to the parade route. This was our first time attending The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and it definitely won’t be the last. Not only were the lights gorgeous, but the musical numbers were great as well! There is something about Christmas music that brings back all of the good memories! We had prime seating and were able to see all of the rehearsals as well as the main performances. It is so neat to see how a show comes together!

Stomp opened up the show with a super cool performance- if you have never seen Stomp- look them up- they are amazing! Next, we saw a song performed by the Drury Lane Theatre; A Christmas Carol. During the live parade, we were all shocked to see that Tiny Tim had made his way down the parade route while staying in character the whole time.

Other performers were the Disney pop band trio, Forever in Your Mind; country superstar Jo Dee Messina; actor and singer, Drew Lachey; Grammy-winning jazz vocalist, Kurt Elling; powerhouse vocalist MARi, from Queens, New York; and Chicago-based acapella group, The Remedy.

The Blue Man Group also performed- such a treat! In the first official parade of the holidays, Grand Marshal Mickey Mouse, escorted by the lovely Minnie Mouse, started off the parade floats, marching bands and musical performances. I think Mickey and Minnie are the perfect Grand Marshals!

It would be difficult to choose a favorite part of the Lights Festival, but I think I’d have to say the seeing all the Christmas lights. I loved how Michigan Avenue was lit up at the end of the parade. Our middle son (who played baseball for 15+ years) thought it was cool to see Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs World Series MVP. Nick’s girlfriend loved the fireworks at the end of the night, they were spectacular. Casey, our youngest son and Doug loved seeing all the musical performances. There is definitely something for everyone! Lights, celebrities, music, floats- and a lot of fun!


Of course, the Christmas parade wasn’t complete without Santa! If you ever have the chance to attend The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival I would highly recommend it. We are already making plans to stay downtown Chicago next year so we can attend again. It is the perfect start to a magical holiday season.


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