The Lights Festival in Chicago, which typically features the third-largest parade in the US, invites viewers to kick off the holiday season from home with a televised spectacle, and introduces new holiday window displays along North Michigan Avenue!
CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Magnificent Mile Association will not produce a live parade for one million visitors this year, but one million lights will still shine in the district through the holiday season and the winter. The tree-lighting will be featured in a Lights Festival TV special on ABC7 Chicago on Sunday, November 22 at 6:00 PM (CT), with a special greeting from Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse at Walt Disney World.
"So much has changed in our world this year, but our city's holiday spirit will shine through," said Eric Smith, vice chair for BMO. "Generations of Chicagoans enjoy this event each year, and this year they have new ways to do that in addition to a great broadcast to watch from the comfort of their homes. We're proud to be sponsoring this event for the 15th consecutive year and to have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on Chicago communities for the whole nation to see."
The 1-hour, pre-taped broadcast will showcase top-tier musical talent, headlined by Academy and Grammy Award-winning actress/singer Jennifer Hudson and hit country music band, Rascal Flatts. Viewers can also look forward to remote performances from around the country, including American Idol winner, Laine Hardy, Disney Music Group's a cappella singing act, DCapella, and folk/pop/soul duo, JohnnySwim, sponsored by Southwest Airlines®.
In the spirit of the season, the special will feature heartwarming stories of hope and holiday cheer from around Chicago; and will syndicate more than 90% of markets nationwide through the new year to showcase the best of our great city.
Meanwhile, The Magnificent Mile Association will create a new holiday tradition for the Lights Festival this year, featuring festive window displays from 15 cultural and community partners in storefronts available for lease along North Michigan Avenue.
Events partners impacted by COVID-19, including Christkindlmarket, EXPO Chicago, Get Growing Foundation (formerly Flower Show), and the Osaka Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International (who host a Festival of Lights in their home city) will each decorate a window with artisan merchandise, prominent Chicago art, floral fashions, colorful origami, and more.
In addition, communities clustered around the Invest South/West footprint will showcase their cultural traditions, artists in residence, and local businesses in 11 individual window displays anchored by a 7.5' holiday tree.
"We want to ensure that Chicagoans from all corners of the city feel welcome on The Magnificent Mile," explains Gail Spreen, Chair of the Lights Festival. "There will be no gathering this year, but there will still be plenty of holiday cheer!"
Special holiday offers, or "BMO Perks", continue around The Magnificent Mile through the holiday season. Visitors can post photos and share holiday traditions with #BMOLightsFest. For more information and local air dates, follow @TheMagMile and visit TheMagnificentMile.com.
About The Magnificent Mile® Association
The Magnificent Mile® Association is a private, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to preserve, promote, and enhance one of Chicago's most unique, multi-use neighborhoods. Since its inception in 1912, the Association continues to be a strategic partner to its members, representing real estate properties, retail shops, hotels, restaurants, entertainment establishments, institutional and residential properties, and various professional services. To learn more, visit themagnificentmileassociation.com.
About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 500 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the United States. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, visit the company fact sheet. Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$974 billion as of July 31, 2020.
About Southwest Airlines®
In its 50th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service to a Customer base topping 130 million passengers in 2019. Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. In peak travel seasons during 2019, Southwest operated more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. In early 2020, the carrier added service to Hilo, Hawaii, and Cozumel, Mexico. Southwest will begin service to Palm Springs, California, and Miami on Nov. 15, as well as two new seasonal destinations in Colorado, Steamboat Springs, and Montrose (Telluride) on Dec. 19, 2020. In 2021, the carrier will add service at Chicago (O'Hare) on Feb. 14, and Colorado Springs on March 11, and has announced intended service next year at Houston (Bush Intercontinental), Savannah, Jackson, Miss., and Sarasota- Bradenton.
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SOURCE The Magnificent Mile Association