CHICAGO (WLS) -- The magic of the holidays, Chicago-style, is captured for viewers around the country with spectacular entertainment, beloved Walt Disney World characters, luminous floats, Santa and dazzling fireworks, as more than a million twinkling Michigan Avenue lights set the stage for the broadcast of the fantastic Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, which aired Sunday, Nov. 19 from 6-7 p.m. on ABC7 Chicago. Encore broadcasts will air Sunday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11 p.m. The parade stepped off on Oak Street and traveled down Michigan Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m.
ABC7 Chicago anchors Cheryl Burton and Ryan Chiaverini serve as co-hosts of the broadcast along with ABC7's Judy Hsu and Hosea Sanders, who bring sparkle and excitement reporting street-side.
The Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade will be available on-demand and stream exclusively on abc7chicago.com and ABC7's Connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.
Dazzling audiences with a star-studded lineup, the country's largest evening holiday celebration opens with Broadway in Chicago's Tony Award-winning, "Hamilton," celebrating its return to Chicago and "Boop! The Musical," a new Broadway-bound extravaganza, along with Latin jazz family legend and musician Tito Puente Jr. - all lighting up Chicago with performances atop the iconic Wrigley Building.
Parade attendees and viewers alike will be singing along with Grammy-nominated Sister Sledge when the sisters belt out their popular and timeless hit, "We are Family." The pioneers of hip hop, The Sugarhill Gang, will have everyone dancing in the streets with their famous hit, "Rapper's Delight." Keeping the groove going with the holiday spirit are The Funky Bunch, Chicago native and "The Voice" finalist Katie Kadan and "American Idol" finalist Colin Stough.
In the first official parade of the holidays, Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, illuminate over one million lights on 200 trees along "The Magnificent Mile," one of the grandest avenues in the world. Appearing on an awe-inspiring float, the world's most beloved characters will lead the way for Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale and Mirabel from "Encanto" and breathtaking floats. Marching bands from around the country, in addition to returning fan favorites, the Crystal Lake Strikers Drumline, bring the thrill of drums beating down the Mag Mile. Soaring alongside Chicago's spectacular architecture, helium balloons, including Rudolph, presented by the athletes and families of Special Olympics Illinois, a giant festive gift package from Water Tower Place and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital balloon, delight parade goers.
This is the 15th consecutive year the much-anticipated tradition will be broadcasted to Chicago audiences on ABC7, the most watched television station in the city. Throughout the holiday season, the special will also be watched in 198 US markets, reaching nearly 100% of the country plus Toronto, Canada, with encore airings in multiple markets. Check local listings for times.
Members of the ABC7 Chicago team - Ravi Baichwal, Jessica D'Onofrio, Rob Elgas, Michelle Gallardo, Dionne Miller and Cheryl Scott -- spread good cheer along Michigan Avenue on ABC7 Chicago's whimsical float.
The broadcast's grand finale lights up the sky (and children's hearts) with a dazzling fireworks display over the Chicago River, just as Santa makes his exciting arrival on the scene, as he waves from a beautiful float!