The Wintrust

Lights Festival Countdown:

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Schedule of Events

Each year, holiday memories are made, traditions are formed and the holiday spirit along The Magnificent Mile grows greater! Parade fans and holiday lovers from all over Chicagoland and the Midwest flock to Michigan Avenue every year for the Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival®, where your holidays begin!
LIGHTS FESTIVAL LANE 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

A festive thoroughfare of booths and free family activities all on Lights Festival Lane at 401 north Michigan Ave.

  • Visit the Wintrust Pavilion for complimentary photos with Santa Claus! Images are captured with beautiful holiday décor adding to the festive spirit. Photos will be available instantly for download via email or text using convenient photo kiosks. Plus balloon twisting is available for additional fun!
  • Chicago Runs on Dunkin’ so be sure to stop by Lights Festival Lane to sample 2 delicious holiday flavor beverages, Peppermint Mocha & Spiced Cookie Coffee.  The holiday classic, Peppermint Mocha, combines festive peppermint with rich mocha flavors AND the Spiced Cookie Coffee is your favorite holiday spice cookie flavors combined with your favorite coffee, available in Hot or Iced.  Grab the perfect Dunkin’ pick me up + get a photo with Cuppy! 
  • Visit Eli’s tent for a complimentary cheesecake slice, where you can decorate it yourself with sauces and fun candy toppings with students from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (one per person, while supplies last). Also, make a donation onsite (credit cards only) to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for a free cheesecake to take home!
  • Come visit the Illinois Lottery’s display! If you purchase any Illinois Lottery ticket at their truck, you'll get a chance to receive a giveaway. You'll also have the opportunity to take a fun holiday photo on-site, print it out, and/or share it socially. While supplies last. One prize per person 18 years of age or older.
  • Come meet Sloomoo Institute's lovable mascot, Sloomoo, from 1-4pm. Look out for everyone's favorite slimey friend around the festival for photos and meet-and-greets. Slime you there!
  • Celebrate the season with a gift for your gut and grab a free sample of Lifeway Kefir!
  • Chicago is the railroad hub of the United States and CN Railway is proud to be a part of the local community. Stop by their location and spin the “Rail Safety Prize Wheel” to test your railroad safety knowledge and an opportunity to win a fun prize. Their Mascot “Milo” the dog will be onsite for a great photo opportunity.
  • Visit the NASCAR booth to experience their Racing Simulator; get behind the wheel and take a lap around the virtual NASCAR Chicago Street Course! Do you have what it takes? Plus, don’t miss your chance to snap a photo with the NASCAR Chicago promotional pace vehicle!  
PARADE 5:30 p.m.

Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World® Resort step off, leading the parade along The Magnificent Mile.

The parade also includes celebrity performances from

  • Sister Sledge, bringing love in a family dose
  • The Funky Bunch bringing some “Good Vibrations!” 
  • The Sugar Hill Gang celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop
  • American Idol favorite, Colin Stough

You wont want to miss the marching bands from Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Alabama. 

Witness Santa Claus soar down the route on the grand finale float presented by Wintrust to officially signal the start of the holiday season. 


The culmination of the holiday celebration will be The Wintrust Fireworks Spectacular over the Chicago River.

MMLF 2022 Festival Guide Final2


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Fireworks in the water with a city in the background

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