CHICAGO, Nov. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® invites visitors to two days of free, family fun to celebrate the start of the holiday season—November 17 & 18—culminating in an unforgettable tree-lighting parade.
On Saturday evening, November 18, grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World® Resort help illuminate more than one million lights along The Magnificent Mile, from Oak Street to the Chicago River!
Beginning on Friday, November 17 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 Kid’s Zone tent, featuring face painting with holiday designs and a special fast lane for BMO customers. Family and friends can get their photo taken with fun props which will be printed and available to share via social media. Kids can enjoy a decoration station for their photos.
“BMO Harris Bank is once again thrilled to share the holiday season in partnership with various organizations dedicated to gathering families and friends as we celebrate this special time of the year,” said Justine Fedak, SVP, Marketing, BMO Harris Bank. “What truly makes this celebration unforgettable for me and everyone at BMO Harris Bank is seeing people from all of our incredibly diverse neighborhoods across Chicago enjoying this festival – that’s the real magic of this event!”
The fun continues Saturday, November 18 from 11:00AM to 4:00PM. Visit the Southwest Airlines®Porch for a delightfully festive photo booth, custom-embroidered giveaways, and the chance to win a roundtrip for two on the Official Airline of The Magnificent Mile!
Stop by the Santa Chalet for a visit with Santa Claus. Warm up with complimentary treat size bag of the Garrett Mix® at the Garrett Popcorn booth, or taste the tradition with a legendary slice of Connie’s Pizza. Don’t forget dessert: decorate a free slice of cheesecake from The Eli’s Cheesecake Companywith whipped cream and fun candy toppings.
Subaru will have a display at Lights Festival Lane featuring the all-new 2018 Crosstrek; and a full activation steps away on Upper Illinois Street. Guests can help themselves to hot cocoa and holiday themed giveaways, while supplies last.
Live musical performances return to the BMO Harris Bank Stage starting Saturday, November 18 at 11:30AM with family-favorite Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players. The lineup also includes singer/songwriter Alec Joseph; and country music trio Temecula Road, presented by Southwest Airlines®. A limited number of wristbands are available for meet-and-greets with Alec Joseph at the BMO Harris Kid’s Zone; and Temecula Road at the Southwest Airlines Porch.
Saturday’s festivities lead up to the much-anticipated tree-lighting parade, the country’s largest evening holiday celebration. The parade begins at 5:30PM as grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse join classic characters from Walt Disney World® Resort, including Woody and Jessie from Toy Story; and more than 40 magnificent floats, helium-filled balloons, and six marching bands from across the country.
Crowd favorites return to the route, including the larger-than-life Hubert the Lion balloon from BMO Harris Bank and popular Chicago team mascots Benny the Bull, Tommy the Hawk, and more.
The popular scent of Garrett Popcorn Shop’s popcorn infused from the shop’s float wafts down the route. New this year, Frango Mint presents a fresh look with a mint-colored float, complete with Frango Mint Chocolate Pearls for the crowd. Look out for another Chicago favorite, the Blackhawks Blues Mobile; and wave to patients from Northwestern Medicine’s elite cardiovascular program, ranked highest in Illinois for 10 straight years.
Celebrity appearances include Asher Angel, star of the Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack;” singer-songwriter, Alec Joseph; American singer, Billy Gilman; American Idol finalist, Melinda Doolittle; jazz singer, Shemekia Copeland; and country music trio, Temecula Road, presented by Southwest Airlines.
Santa Claus soars down the route on a float from Walgreens to officially signal the start of the holiday season. The Lights Festival draws to a grand conclusion with a spectacular fireworks display over the Chicago River.
The nationally-televised event will be hosted by ABC 7 Eyewitness News Anchors Alan Krashesky and Cheryl Burton on Saturday, November 18 from 6 – 7 PM CST on ABC 7 Chicago and 7.2, with anchor Terrell Brown capturing the magic from the street. The broadcast opens with a performance from the cast of Broadway in Chicago’s Margaritaville, and closes with a performance from American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks.
The Lights Festival parade will also be streamed LIVE on abc7chicago.com, and will then be available on-demand on the ABC7 Chicago website. 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.
Book your stay Park & Stay package at one of 21 Hilton Hotels surrounding The Magnificent Mile this holiday season. Visit Hilton.com. The Lights Festival is also the perfect time to get a start on holiday shopping! Seasonal promotions and holiday events from area shops, restaurants, hotels, and attractions continue into the new year.
About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through nearly 600 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank’s commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are subject to bank and credit approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN $709 billion (as of July 31, 2017), and more than 45,000 employees.
About Walt Disney World® Resort
Walt Disney World® Resort is a contiguous, nearly 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment destination featuring four theme parks (Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park , Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and Magic Kingdom® Park; two water adventure parks (Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park); 36 resort hotels (26 owned and operated by Walt Disney World®, includes nine Disney Vacation Club resort properties); two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Disney Springs with one-of-a-kind shopping, entertainment and waterfront dining. Located in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World® Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round.
About Southwest Airlines Co.
In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 55,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 115 million passengers annually, in recent years. Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. During peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and nine additional countries. Service to Turks & Caicos is expected to begin Nov. 5, 2017. Southwest has announced its intention to sell tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals.
About The Magnificent Mile®
The Magnificent Mile® is Chicago’s premier destination, offering more than 460 stores, 275 restaurants, 60 hotels, unique museums and entertaining attractions to more than 20 million visitors each year. As one of the Great Avenues of the World, The Magnificent Mile district features extraordinary shopping, critically-acclaimed dining, world-class hotel accommodations, seasonal event campaigns and exceptional urban landscaping with more than 52 separate parkway gardens that reflect the changing seasons and complement the unique architectural beauty of Chicago. For more information, visit TheMagnificentMile.com or follow The Magnificent Mile on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Link to photos: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/4cd3MCuJTd
Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.