Big police chiefs Mickey and Minnie Mouse return to kick off Chicago’s 32nd annual celebration Magnificent Mile Lights Festival The march will be held on Saturday at 17.30. The duo will turn on more than 1 million lights along Michigan Avenue and will be followed by floats, helium-filled balloons, marching bands and musical performances by Sister Sledge, The Sugarhill Gang, The Funky Bunch and Colin Stough of “American Idol.” Also an appearance by Santa Claus.
Fireworks will cap off two days of free, family-friendly events with a holiday theme.
Here’s a brief look at what to expect:
- The most holiday sweaters on the parade: Organizers are trying to break records on Michigan Avenue during the parade. Pick up a wristband from the registrar along the parade route between 4pm and 7pm.
- Take a tour: A NASCAR race car simulator speeding along the Chicago Street Race route, 401 N. Michigan Ave. Lights at Pioneer Court at will be one of the attractions on Festival Lane.
Saturday will be sunny, with highs near 50 degrees and lows near freezing, according to the National Weather Service’s Chicago office. No rain is expected.
- 11:00-16:00: Activities, treats, gifts and photos with Santa at Pioneer Court.
- Starting from 15.00: The DuSable Bridge (over Michigan Avenue) closes to pedestrians and North Michigan Boulevard between Oak Street and Wacker Drive closes to vehicles.
- 17:30-19:00: The parade marches from North Michigan Avenue south down Oak Street to Wacker Drive.
- 18:55: A fireworks display begins over the Chicago River at Michigan and Wacker.
- Car park: Organizers recommend purchasing and making reservations in advance via SpotHero app. Or buy parking online Millennium Garages.
- Street closures: Please note that surrounding roads will be closed to traffic during the festival and may affect travel times.
- CTA: If taking the CTA Red Line train, exit on Chicago Avenue or Grand Avenue and walk east. Weekend service changes on CTA buses and trains Available on CTA’s website.
- Metre: Programs available on Metra’s website. Metra offers: $7 Saturday Pass It offers unlimited travel throughout the day, and up to three children aged 11 and under can travel free with a paying adult.
When: Saturday 17:30
Where to watch: Organizers recommend spectators watch the parade on the east side of Michigan Avenue, near the north end of the parade route at Oak Street. The route extends 1 mile south to Wacker Drive.
If you can’t be in the city center or want to avoid crowds: Re-broadcasts will air on December 3 at 16:00 and on December 10 at 23:00. The broadcast can also be watched on demand at: abc7chicago.com. It will also be rebroadcast on networks in the United States and Canada.
Wheelchair access: Plaza of the Americas (just north of the Wrigley Building on the west side of Michigan Avenue) is the recommended place for wheelchair users to watch the parade and fireworks. The shuttle is at the corner of Hubbard Street and Wabash Boulevard.
When: Saturday 18:55
Where to watch: The fireworks display will take place at the DuSable Bridge (Michigan Avenue) over the Chicago River at the conclusion of the parade and is best viewed along Wacker Drive or from Pioneer Court. Access to the bridge closes at 15:00
In water: Wendella It offers a family-friendly Chicago River cruise on Saturday with a view of fireworks, not a parade.
Resources: Magnificent Mile AssociationTribune reporting