(RELEASE) ABC 7 captures Chicago holiday magic for viewers around the country when entertainment, fireworks, festive music, and more than a million twinkling Michigan Avenue lights set the stage for the live broadcast of the spectacular 2011 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival presented by BMO Harris Bank, Saturday, November 19 from 6-7:00 pm. Encore broadcasts will air Sunday, December 4 at 12:30 pm; Saturday, December 10 at 1:30pm and Sunday, December 18 at 1:30pm on ABC 7 Chicago.
Special Performances Include Grammy Award-Winning Sister duo, Mary Mary; China Anne McClain as presented by Radio Disney; Cast members of the Disney Channel's Original Movie, Lemonade Mouth; Straight from Walt Disney World in Florida, Mickey and Minnie Mouse; Along With Guest appearances by Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog
The hour-long special, co-hosted by ABC 7's Janet Davies, Alan Krashesky, Hosea Sanders and Windy City LIVE's Val Warner, will be broadcast in stunning HD and will also be streamed live and on-demand at abc7chicago.com. This marks the 20th anniversary of the sparkling Lights Festival and the 5th consecutive year this magnificent tradition will be broadcast to Chicago audiences on the city's most watched television station, ABC 7. Throughout the holiday season, the special will also be watched and enjoyed by a national audience, via syndication. Broadcast times are available in local listings.
The special will spotlight the first official procession of the holiday season when the Grand Marshal, Mickey Mouse, escorted by the lovely Minnie, from the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, will illuminate over one million lights on 200 trees along "The Magnificent Mile," one of the great avenues in the world. (Mickey Mouse has served as the Grand Marshal for the past 19 years; this is the second time Minnie Mouse will join him on the lead float.) Disney's Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will make an appearance.
Viewers will be treated to a performances by Radio Disney artist and as seen on Disney Channel's A.N.T. Farm, the popular China Anne McClain; My Block/Columbia Records multi-Grammy Award-winning inspirational recording act Mary Mary; American Idol finalists Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams; cast members of the Disney Channel Original Movie, "Lemonade Mouth;" Jake and the Never Land Pirate Band as seen on Disney Junior; Radio Disney's N.B.T. (Next Big Thing) artist Shealeigh from Chicago; Justin Roberts an the Not ready for Naptime Players; Disney Music Group Artist Nathan Pacheco; and more.
The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival special will showcase more than 40 spectacular floats and helium-filled balloons, including Kermit the Frog sponsored by Disney's The Muppets, and that best loved reindeer, Rudolph. Lively marching bands and classic characters from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck, will also add excitement to the procession. Amazing local marching bands include the Crystal Lake Strikers Drum-Line, Morton West High School Band; Loyola Academy High School Band and the Proviso East High School Band. The Spring-Ford High School Band from Royersford, PA will also perform.
Members of the ABC 7 News team--Ron Magers, Mark Giangreco, Judy Hsu and Theresa Gutierrez--will be spreading good cheer as they ride atop the ABC 7 Chicago float during the procession.
The grand finale for the 20011 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will light up the sky (and children's hearts) with a dazzling fireworks display over the Chicago River, just as Santa makes his much anticipated arrival!
The 2011 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival special is produced by Christopher Bowen, ABC 7's executive producer of local programming and 190 North Executive Producer, Janet Davies.