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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade

Chicago, Illinois

Saturday, November 17, 2018
5:30 PM

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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade
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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Logo 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 BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival 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.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade Photos The entire day of events is produced by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association which is a private, non-profit membership organization with a mission of preserving, promoting and enhancing one of Chicago's most unique neighborhoods.

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 on ABC7 in the Chicago area and is also re-broadcast throughout December in various cities across the nation.

2018 Participating Bands

Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline, Crystal Lake, Illinois
Firestone High School Band, Akron, Ohio
Greendale High School Band, Wisconsin
Hartselle High School Band, Alabama
Palmetto Ridge High School Band, Naples, Florida
Sylvania Northview High School Band, Ohio

2017 Participating Bands
Bainbridge High School Band, Georgia
Calhoun County High School Band, Alabama
Greendale High School Band, Wisconsin
Jeffersonville High School Band, Indiana
Libertyville High School Band, Illinois
Mosely High School Band, Florida
Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band, Petoskey, Michigan

Related Events

• A spectacular fireworks show is held over the Chicago River immediately after the parade, serving as a grand finale to this holiday event.
• Live concerts are held all afternoon on the Harris Stage in Pioneer Court at 401 North Michigan Avenue. Artists appearing in recent years included the Radio Disney Road Crew and Crystal Bowersox of American Idol.

Future Dates

Saturday, November 17, 2018
Saturday, November 23, 2019
Saturday, November 21, 2020
(Always held the Saturday before Thanksgiving)

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View highlights of the 2010 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

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