The 2018 Chicago Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will be attended by over half a million people lining Michigan Avenue three, four or more deep. If you want to see something it is strongly advised that you arrive very early. People start lining up before noon on Saturday.
Friday, November 16, 2018 4:00 – 8:00PM: Lights Festival Lane in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Avenue) opens the evening before the parade with more than a dozen family-friendly activities from Chicago favorites and popular brands—plus live music and a visit with Santa Claus! Explore an interactive wonderland of holiday-themed activities, and sample treats from crowd favorites Garrett Popcorn, Frango, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, and more.
Saturday, November 17, 2018 11:00AM-7:00PM
11AM-4PM: Explore an interactive wonderland of holiday-themed activities at Lights Festival Lane in Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Avenue), including the BMO Harris Kid’s Zone. Santa Claus will be available to greet guests. Enjoy a dozen family-friends things to do and check out local restaurants and retailers serving treats.
ALL DAY: Enjoy holiday experiences and special offers at participating retailers, restaurants and attractions around The Magnificent Mile District!
As early as 3:30PM: DuSable Bridge (formerly Michigan Avenue Bridge) closes to pedestrian traffic.
4:00PM: North Michigan Avenue closes to vehicular traffic between Oak Street and Wacker Drive.
5:30-7:00PM: The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival tree-lighting parade steps onto North Michigan Avenue at Oak Street. Grand Marshals are Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Disney characters, floats, helium-filled balloons, marching bands and top musical performers. The parade travels south down North Michigan Avenue to Wacker Drive, lighting one million lights along the way.
6:55PM: Fireworks over the Chicago River at North Michigan Avenue.