The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Offers A Show-Stopping Start To The 2012 Holiday Season

Chicago's Magnificent Mile kicks off the holidays for millions with musical performances from top artists, beloved characters from Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, family-friendly activities and a weekend of special holiday offers

CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than one million people will travel to Chicago's Magnificent Mile to begin their holidays during the 21st annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Saturday, November 17, 2012. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida will lead a magical evening lighting parade down The Magnificent Mile, illuminating more than one million lights on 200 trees along North Michigan Avenue.

The beloved holiday tradition signals the beginning of the season for the nation with an action-packed weekend throughout The Magnificent Mile district. On November 17, North Michigan Avenue is the setting for a host of holiday fun. Starting at 11 a.m., families are invited to enjoy holiday-themed activities in Lights Festival Lane (Pioneer Court, 401 N. Michigan Avenue) featuring booths from Chicago's finest including John Hancock Observatory, Garrett Popcorn Shops, The Eli's Cheesecake Company, BMO Harris Bank and more. Radio Disney AM 1300 Chicago will be on-site hosting a family-friendly concert featuring Olivia Holt, star of Disney XD's hit series "Kickin' It" and the Disney Channel Original Movie "Girl Vs. Monster," who will open for singer-songwriter Shane Harper, star of Disney Channel's Emmy Award-nominated "Good Luck Charlie." Other top musical performers scheduled to take the BMO Harris Bank Stage during the afternoon's live concert line-up include Colton Dixon, American Idol Season 11 alum; R5, the fastest-rising band on the pop-rock scene; and Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players, the Grammy-nominated indie family music group.

The day's activities lead up to the much-anticipated tree lighting parade, the country's largest evening holiday celebration, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will appear together for the third year in a row on an awe-inspiring new float as they lead more than 40 magnificent floats, helium-filled balloons, classic characters from the Walt Disney World® Resort, lively marching bands from across the country and celebrity appearances by Bella Thorne, star of Disney Channel's "Shake It Up," and more.

Audiences can expect crowd favorites to return such as Santa Claus soaring above the crowds on the John Hancock Observatory float, the larger-than-life Hubert the Lion balloon from BMO Harris Bank, the world-famous scent of Garrett Popcorn Shop's popcorn infused down the procession route from the shop's float and popular Chicago sports stars aboard the Harry Caray's Restaurant Group float. Exciting new additions include a float made entirely of candy from Candyality, Chicago's sweetest destination, a Holiday Magic float from Brookfield Zoo and more.

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival draws to a grand conclusion with a spectacular fireworks display over the Chicago River created from more than 10,000 handmade fireworks shells from Lumina.

The nationally-televised event will be broadcast live on Saturday, November 17 from 6 p.m.7 p.m. CST in local markets on ABC7 Chicago and in more than 65 markets around the country throughout the holiday season. Broadcast times available in local listings. 

Special holiday offers and events from area shops, restaurants, hotels and attractions continue throughout the holiday season.  For a complete list of offers and activities, visit themagnificentmile.com or follow The Magnificent Mile on Facebook, Twitter and foursquare.

SOURCE The Magnificent Mile



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