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Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Kicks Off Holiday Season

By Alex Parker | November 23, 2013 12:48pm | Updated on November 23, 2013 7:23pm
 Several floats, marching bands and Disney characters rolled down Michigan Avenue Saturday for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.
2013 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
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MAGNIFICENT MILE — It was oh, so cold on Michigan Avenue Saturday night, but that didn't keep crowds from catching a glimpse of Mickey and Minnie Mouse illuminate the street with a million lights.

The 21st annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival kicked off the holiday season Saturday, culminating with an evening parade down Michigan Avenue. 

The famous Disney characters helped illuminated a million lights on 200 trees along the route in front of an expected crowd of a million.

"This is our first time here," said Heather McClow, a West Loop resident who brought her niece and nephew to the parade. "It's hard to see what's going on, but they're having fun.

Fireworks shot from the Chicago River between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive end the evening.

The parade, which started at 5:30 p.m., traveled east on Oak Street, then heads south on Michigan Avenue to Wacker Drive, then east on Wacker to Columbus Drive.

The festival included a day-long event at Pioneer Court, featuring family-friendly activities and musical acts, such as Debbie Gibson, Radio Disney, and Megan and Liz.

At 5 p.m., Dancing with the Stars' Mario Lopez led "the Largest Holiday Carol" singalong.