Thanksgiving isn’t even quite here yet, but that’s not stopping Chicago from getting into the holiday spirit. Come Nov. 18, Michigan Avenue will get lit up in the most festive way during the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.
Celebrating its 25th year, the Lights Festival will bring together hundreds of thousands of revelers as Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse lead a parade of 40 floats down Michigan Avenue, lighting more than one million lights in some 200 trees along the avenue. The parade, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday, culminates in a fireworks show at the Chicago River around 7 p.m. The festivities will include performances by Jo Dee Messina, 98 Degrees’ Drew Lachey, Blue Man Group, jazz singer Kurt Elling, the USO Show Troupe and more.
For the first time, the festival will continue on Saturday Nov. 19 with the Lights Lane Festival, a pop-up celebration set in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan). It’ll feature various kids’ games, food from places like Eli’s Cheesecake, Garrett’s Popcorn and Connie’s Pizza and booths from Disney Store, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Illinois Office of Tourism, which will feature Santa’s Chalet. The Lights Lane Festival goes until 8 p.m. Friday and will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.