Final preps before Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, parade

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More than one million people are expected to attend the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival this Saturday.

The parade marches down Chicago's Michigan Avenue, a popular spot for holiday shopping. Many people who will watch the spectacle are from out of town. Cheryl Cherne is from Minneapolis.
"We are beyond excited," Cherne said. "We love everything Christmas and to see it through the eyes of our two great-granddaughters, we're very thrilled to be here."

The highlight of the parade for many young revelers- Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
"I guess they are really cheery and they really bring out Christmas," Aryanna Wallace, 9, said.
Organizers said security will be tight, especially given the recent terror around the world.
"I would assume a number of people aren't coming because of security concerns. It's unfortunate," Emiloa Dosunmu said.

The Chicago Police Department, which has been planning for the event for more than a year, released a statement, "...people can expect to see a large uniformed police presence during the Lights festival. They may not see the many plainclothes police officers... and specialized units that will be supporting the event and ensuring visitors have a safe and happy experience to kick off the holiday season."

"You've got to watch where you are going, make sure you know who is around you," Megan Skovsende said.

"We're very confident that the city has got their end of it well-organized. We certainly got ours. We have to step up and bring in a lot of security as well," Jonathan Chikow, Magnificent Mile Association, said.
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