Chicago’s annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will take place on Saturday, and thousands of residents and tourists will be on hand as the city’s iconic Christmas lights are turned on.
The lights along the Mag Mile have become world-famous because of their sparkling beauty, and they will be illuminated on Saturday night. A parade, beginning at 5:30 p.m., will take place to celebrate the occasion, and Grand Marshals Mickey and Minnie Mouse will lead the way as over one million lights are flipped on.
Just after 7 p.m., a fireworks display will take place over the Chicago River following the parade, and residents and tourists can stroll Michigan Avenue looking at the lights on Saturday night.
Numerous other events will take place around the downtown area in conjunction with the parade, including Lights Festival Lane, located in Pioneer Court on the 400 block of North Michigan Avenue. Live music, food, and meet and greets with local celebrities will all take place there, and the area opens at 11 a.m. and will remain open until 4 p.m.
Several street closures are expected to also impact traffic as the parade preparations get underway in earnest Saturday. The Michigan Avenue bridge over the Chicago River will likely be closed to pedestrian traffic as early as 3:30 p.m. because of the parade, the Chicago Department of Transportation said.
From 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Upper Columbus Drive will be closed going both north and southbound from Wacker Drive to Randolph Street for the parade.
There are several main streets that will be closed during the parade and festivities. These streets will close as early as 4 p.m. and could remain closed until 8 p.m. or later at the discretion of Chicago police:
- Oak Street, from State Street to Michigan Avenue
- North Michigan Avenue, from Oak Street to Wacker Drive
- Upper Wacker Drive, from Michigan Avenue to the east turnaround
The following street closures will remain in effect until 6 p.m.:
- Clark Street, from Oak to Delaware (east curb lane only)
- Delaware, Dearborn to Clark (north curb lane only)
- Oak, Clark to State Street
- Dearborn, Delaware to Maple
- Walton, State to Clark
For more information, residents and tourists can visit the Magnificent Mile website.