Thousands flock to downtown Chicago for Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The holiday season kicks into high gear this weekend, as tens of thousands of people flocked to downtown Chicago to watch a million holiday lights shine bright.

Those looking to get into the holiday spirit gathered for the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Saturday, hosted by ABC7's Cheryl Burton and Alan Krashesky.

WATCH: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Part 1

The festive fun started at 11 a.m. with an interactive wonderland of holiday-themed activities at the Lights Festival Lane, 401 N. Michigan Avenue.

WATCH: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Part 2


The parade stepped off on North Michigan Avenue at Oak Street at 5:30 p.m. with Grand Marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resorts Florida.

WATCH: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Part 3



"It is festive down here. It's so many people," said Brandy Brooks, who attended the parade Saturday. "It's just a great Christmas environment."

WATCH: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Part 4


For many, attending the parade is a tradition.

WATCH: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Part 5


"It is just really fun to be a part of it and see all the floats go by," said Sophie Coppens.

WATCH: Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Part 6


The heartwarming stories they will have to look back on make it worth braving Chicago's chilly temperatures.



"I have never seen an American parade," said Fiona Keely. "You always see it on TV but I am so excited to see it in real life."

For more information on ABC7's broadcast, click here.
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