Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade

Chicago, IL

For more than 50 years, the trees along Chicago's North Michigan Avenue have been illuminated to signal the official kick-off of the holiday season. With the help of more than 800 volunteers, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival presented by BMO Harris Bank encourages everyone to join in the spirit of the holiday season and enjoy a host of festive experiences along Chicago's "Magnificent Mile." 

The centerpiece of the day-long festival is the evening parade, and the lights on Michigan Avenue are literally illuminated block-by-block as the procession passes. More than 1 million spectators line the parade route each year to see the lighted floats, marching bands, balloons and performing artists. Because of the parade's unique overall format and time considerations, the parade is limited to five or six marching bands each year.

The 1.2-mile parade route travels under millions of twinkling lights along Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive. The parade is free and open to the public. The event is televised live in the Chicago area and is also re-broadcast throughout December in various cities across the nation.