Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse To Be Parade Grand Marshals At The Chicago BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
‘Tis the season for fantastic parades! But did you know you don’t have to travel all the way to a Disney Park to see Mickey and Minnie Mouse? If you are lucky enough to live in the Chicago area then our favorite duo is coming to the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. This festival runs from Friday, November 22 through Saturday, November 23 and offers free, family fun to celebrate the start of the holiday season. Plus, on Saturday evening, November 23, grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World® Resort help illuminate more than one million tree lights along North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, as part of the third-largest parade in the United States!
“The BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is one of my favorite events in Chicago,” said David Casper, U.S. CEO, BMO Financial Group. “Our purpose at BMO is to grow the good, in business and life, and I can’t think of a better way to grow the good than by joining with our partners to help kick off the holiday season in Chicago.”
Beginning on Friday, November 22 from 4:00 to 8:00PM, Lights Festival Lane (401 N. Michigan Avenue) offers a range of holiday-themed activities. BMO Harris Bank invites visitors to an expanded BMO Harris Kids Zone tent, featuring face painting with holiday designs and a special fast lane for BMO customers. Walk into a life-size holiday card with family and friends to take a photo, with the help of brand ambassadors, and design a holiday card or two.
The fun continues Saturday, November 23 from 11:00AM to 4:00PM. Stop by and visit with Santa Claus, presented by the National Association of REALTORS®, with complimentary photos from Wallflower Studios. Enjoy a complimentary treat size bag of the Garrett Mix® at the Garrett Popcorn booth or a complimentary sample of the original mint chocolate from Frango. Decorate a free slice of cheesecake from The Eli’s Cheesecake Company with whipped cream and fun candy toppings.
Stop by the Subaru display to get your photo taken with Mrs. Claus and help yourself to some holiday themed giveaways (while supplies last). Be sure to check out the all-new 2020 Subaru Outback and Ascent vehicles while you’re there.
Additional activities include festive Origami making and a lively Taiko drumming experience from the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International; games and prizes from the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Northwestern Medicine, Lifeway Kefir and Canadian National Railway; and more.
Live musical performances return to the BMO Harris Bank Stage on Saturday, November 23 starting at 11:30AM with platinum-selling singer and songwriter Ryan Cabrera, presented by T-Mobile. The lineup also includes multi-platinum Southern California trio Echosmith, presented by BMO Harris Bank; the Charlottesville-bred pop/rock band Parachute, presented by Hornblower Cruises and Events; and rising artist and songwriter Skylar Stecker, presented by Southwest Airlines®.
A limited number of wristbands are available for artist meet-and-greets throughout the day.
Saturday’s festivities lead up to the much-anticipated tree-lighting parade, which steps off at 5:30PM at Oak Street and North Michigan Avenue. Grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse join classic characters from Walt Disney World® Resort, along with magnificent floats, helium-filled balloons, and five marching bands from around the country, custom-wrapped double-decker buses from Choose Chicago and MyEyeDr. and more.
Crowd favorites return to the route, including the larger-than-life Hubert the BMO Lion balloon and popular Chicago team mascots Benny the Bull, Tommy the Hawk and more.
Celebrity appearances along the parade route include international sensation CeCe Peniston, known for her hit single, “Finally;” sister duo 2XO from Radio Disney; international singer and songwriter Matt B from Chicago; and versatile family group Shelby 5.
Santa Claus soars down the route to officially signal the start of the holiday season. The Lights Festival draws to a grand conclusion with a spectacular firework display over the Chicago River.
The nationally-televised event will be hosted by ABC 7 Eyewitness News Anchors Alan Krashesky and Cheryl Burton, and Janet Davies on Sunday, November 24 from 6 – 7 PM CST on ABC 7 Chicago, with anchor Rob Elgas capturing the magic from the street. The broadcast opens with a performance from Ryan Cabrera; and closes with a performance from Echosmith.
The Lights Festival parade will also be streamed on abc7chicago.com and will then be available on-demand and on the ABC7 Chicago app. The broadcast will air in more than 90% of markets around the United States throughout the holiday season, with repeat airings in multiple markets. Viewers can find their local broadcast times at TheMagnificentMile.com or check their local listings to relive the magic.
Visitors enjoy exclusive BMO perks and special offers from area shops, restaurants and attractions via The Magnificent Mile Digital Passport using code “LIGHTS2019.”
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