Schedule of Events
On Saturday, November 23, The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival offered a full lineup of activities, starting bright and early in the morning and continuing throughout the evening. See what fun is in store for you next year on this magical day!
11:00am – 5:00pm
Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Avenue
It’s non-stop holiday fun in Lights Festival Lane, an interactive holiday wonderland! Guests had the opportunity to take a photo with Santa, decorate a slice of Eli’s Cheesecake or savor a bag of the oh-so-delicious Chicago Mix from Garrett Popcorn Shops. Plus, live performances played all afternoon at the BMO Harris Bank Stage in Pioneer Court.
Lights Festival Lane opens at 11am.
A series of musical performances by top artists rocked the BMO Harris Bank stage the afternoon of November 23, 2013.
11:00am – 4:00pm
John Hancock Center Plaza, 875 N. Michigan Avenue
The BMO Harris Bank Board Game Tent in John Hancock Center Plaza offered endless prizes and activities all day, plus a special visit from ESPN Radio talent at the life-sized board game where kids learned helpful steps about managing their money.
5:00pm, prior to parade step-off
Along North Michigan Avenue
Mario Lopez and his family rode down North Michigan Avenue, rallying the crowd to get in the holiday spirit and participate in the “Largest Holiday Carol” presented by 93.9 My FM!
5:30pm – 7:00pm
North Michigan Avenue, from Oak Street to Wacker Drive
Is there anything more magical than North Michigan Avenue illuminated with twinkling white lights throughout the holiday season? Grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse led an extraordinary Tree-Lighting Parade down North Michigan Avenue with magnificent floats, giant helium-filled balloons, lively marching bands, classic characters from Walt Disney World and Resort and live performances from top musical artists.
Parade began at 5:30pm at Oak Street & Michigan Avenue, traveling south on Michigan Avenue to Wacker Drive.
The Lights Festival was broadcast LIVE on ABC7 Chicago at 6 pm CST on November 23, 2013, and was rebroadcast across the country throughout the holiday season. Click here to see when it aired in your city!
North Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River
As a grand finale to the parade, a spectacular fireworks show began at 6:55 p.m. over the Chicago River. The fireworks were choreographed by Rocco Saliano of Lumina, Inc. and offered a perfect ending to the fun-filled day of holiday activities and events!
The Magnificent Mile District
After we lit up North Michigan Avenue, we celebrated the official start of the holiday season around the district! Navy Pier welcomed Santa’s arrival and the front of the famous attraction came alive in a light show spectacular! Guests warmed up after the parade and celebrated the final night of the season on the Zed451 Rooftop! And the Ritz-Carlton regaled the holidays with the second annual lobby tree lighting, food, drink and an evening of live jazz!
Stores, restaurants, hotels and attractions celebrated with a host of special events starting November 1st with extra special offers Lights Festival weekend (November 23 – 24, 2013) and continuing throughout the holiday season.
Lights Festival weekend is always the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping with extended shopping hours at participating stores on The Magnificent Mile on the day of the event and throughout the holiday season! After you shop til you drop, consider dining downtown or staying at one our many magnificent hotels.