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Lights Festival Countdown:

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Schedule of Events

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival returns in 2018 with a full lineup of activities, starting on 4:00PM on Friday, November 16 and then again at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 17.

Free, family fun culminates in the grand Tree-Lighting Parade down North Michigan Avenue with grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World® Resorts Florida.

As you start planning for this year's Lights Festival, be sure to download our 2017 Holiday Activity Guide for a useful tool at the festival!

Plus, check out photos from the 26th Annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

  • Friday, November 16

    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

    11:00AM - 4:00PM: 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 is always ready to greet guests, alongside more than a dozen holiday-themed activities.

    ALL DAY: Enjoy holiday experiences and special offers at participating retailers, restaurants, and attractions around The Magnificent Mile District! Plus, being a BMO Harris customer has it’s perks!

  • Live musical performances return to the BMO Harris Bank stage this year! Enjoy free concerts starting at 11:30AM, plus meet-and-greets with your favorite artists.

  • 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 BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival tree-lighting parade steps onto North Michigan Avenue at Oak Street. Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and their friends from the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida travel down North Michigan Avenue to Wacker Drive, lighting one million lights along the way! The procession features spectacular floats, helium-filled balloons, marching bands and top musical performers. Look out for lively appearances made by Hubert the Lion, Benny the Bull and other well-known Chicago mascots from BMO Harris Bank.

    6:55PM: Fireworks spectacular over the Chicago River at North Michigan Avenue.

  • Watch on ABC 7 Chicago!

    6:00 PM: Tune in live on ABC 7 Chicago for coverage of all the excitement!

    Want to watch the parade again? The broadcast is syndicated to more than 90% of the United States throughout the holiday season, so check your local listings! 

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