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"The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival" Book

November 20, 2008 9:43:10 AM PST
Once called Pine Street Chicago's North Michigan Avenue has a rich history, spanning 140 years. It is now considered of the great avenues of the world. One of the street's most famous events is the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, www.themagnificentmile.com and this year the festival is honored with its very own book.

The new book by author Ellen Farrar of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association (GNMAA) includes dozens of photos. She asks, did you know:

· The term "The Magnificent Mile" was coined by Arthur Rubloff, founder of one of the largest real estate companies in the 1940s.

· Built in 1929, the Palmolive Building enhanced The Magnificent Mile's growing reputation as an architectural showplace. Lighting features such as the Lindbergh Beacon and annual holiday illumination of its façade added to its glamour, and in August, 1930, President Herbert Hoover pressed a telegraph button in the White House to light the Lindbergh Beacon.

· Actress Carmen Miranda was the first celebrity to ceremonially "throw a switch" to illuminate lights on The Magnificent Mile ? then, a 67-foot-tall holiday tree in Water Tower Park in November of 1951.

North Michigan Avenue, known as The Magnificent Mile, has a long and rich tradition of celebrating the holiday season in grand style. Today the illumination of this world-famous avenue with more than one million white lights is considered by many the official start of the holiday season. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival draws some one million visitors each November. Millions more watch the televised broadcast.

The development of North Michigan Avenue, known in its humble early days as Pine Street, and the creation of its holiday and tree-lighting traditions are largely attributed to a dedicated group of entrepreneurs and business leaders, known as the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. Over the years, this line of visionary Chicagoans recognized the avenue's potential and committed to making North Michigan Avenue a world-class street with world-class holiday traditions. The North Michigan Avenue district now features 56 hotels, 275 restaurants, 460 retail locations, and numerous educational, cultural, and health care institutions?and more than 18 million visitors annually.

"We are so excited to release "The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival" during the annual Lights Festival," says author Farrar, vice president of marketing for the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. (GNMAA) "Michigan Avenue has been such a significant part of Chicago's history, and we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate its importance and deep heritage during the holiday season than with this book

"The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival" is a part of Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series, highlighting the history of the festival with archival photographs and interesting facts. The book has been released just in time for the 2008 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

ABC 7 will capture the holiday magic for viewers around the country when entertainment, fireworks, festive music, and a million twinkling Michigan Avenue lights set the stage for the live broadcast of the spectacular 2008 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival presented by Harris, Saturday, November 22 from 6-7:00 p.m. Encore broadcasts will air Sunday, December 14 at noon and Saturday, December 20 at 1:00 pm on ABC 7 Chicago.

The hour-long special, co-hosted by ABC 7's Janet Davies, Alan Krashesky, Hosea Sanders and Robin Roberts, from ABC's Good Morning America, will be broadcast in stunning HD and will also be streamed live and on-demand at abc7chicago.com. This marks the 2nd consecutive year the Lights Festival tradition will be showcased for the Chicago audience on the city's most watched television station, ABC 7, as well for a national audience, via syndication.

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival special will kick off with an exciting 150 person extravaganza featuring the Emerald City Theatre and the high stepping South Shore Drill Team performing an original holiday number created by Disney musical artist and Chicago native Ralph Covert.

The special will then spotlight the first official procession of the holiday season when Mickey Mouse illuminates over one million lights on 200 trees along "The Magnificent Mile," one of the great avenues in the world. Members of the ABC 7 News team--Ron Magers, Judy Hsu, Roz Varon and John Garcia--will ride atop the ABC 7 float during the procession.

Entertaining revelers and viewers alike will be the Disney pop sensations, THE CHEETAH GIRLS presented by Radio Disney, performing their hit songs from all three Disney Channel Original Movies and soundtracks; JASON MRAZ, presented by 101.9 FM THE MIX, performing his mega-hit song, "Beating My Heart;" and Olympic Gold medalist and singer Carly Patterson performing "Temporary Life (Ordinary Girl)." Rounding out the entertainment will be a performance from Disney's enchanting Broadway musical, "Mary Poppins."

The grand finale for the 2008 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will light up the sky (and children's hearts) with a dazzling fireworks display, presented by ABC 7, just as Santa makes his much anticipated arrival!

For more information, on the festival, visit www.themagnificentmile.com. To find out more about Ellen Farrar's book at the book's website

"The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival"
Saturday, November 22
5:30 pm Parade Steps off
6 pm Broadcast live on ABC 7


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