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Some milder temps are returning this weekend just in time as Chicago “officially” kicks off the Holiday Season whether you’re ready or not!

How do I know you ask?  Well, head down to Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan Avenue) in The Loop this Saturday for an interactive holiday wonderland at this year’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival for a full day of holiday festivities that include –

Lights Festival Lane (11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) – enjoy non-stop holiday fun with family friendly activities!

BMO Harris Bank Stage (11:00 a.m.-3:45 p.m.) – rockin’ live concerts by top musical artists such as Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players, Olivia Holt, Shane Harper, Colton Dixon and others will be performing throughout the day!

Tree-Lighting Parade (5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.) – join this year’s grand marshals, Mickey and Minnie Mouse as they lead the annual parade down north Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive illuminating over 1 million bulbs along the way and featuring more than 40 magnificent floats, giant helium-filled balloons, lively marching bands, classic characters from Walt Disney World & Resort and live performances from top musical artists!

Fireworks Spectacular (6:57 p.m.) – the day culminates with a firework spectacular over the Chicago River at north Michigan Avenue as a grand finale to the parade!

If you’re like me and itching to start your holiday shopping for some unique gifts, here’s what’s in town this weekend –

Chicago Toy & Game Fair – check out hundreds of NEW toys and games from more than 150 exhibitors at this 10th annual preview-and-play event billed as the largest expo of its kind at Navy Pier, Festival Hall B (600 E. Grand Avenue) in the Streeterville neighborhood on Saturday (10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) and Sunday (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).  Also features live entertainment, roving characters, giant-sized games, a chance to compete in tournaments, a Star Wars lunch (Saturday), a Pony Royale Princess Party (Sunday) and much more!

Randolph Street Holiday Market – shop for antiques, vintage wares and modern gifts at this annual sale being held at Journeymen Plumbers Hall (1340 W. Washington Boulevard) in the West Loop neighborhood on Saturday and Sunday.  Your admission includes free parking and gift wrapping along with a discount shopping voucher!

Holiday Bazaar:  Gifts, Cookies and Santa – this annual event has a new location at the Warren Park Fieldhouse (6601 N. Western Avenue) in the West Rogers Park neighborhood and will be held on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Hundreds of homemade baked goods, holiday gifts, coffee, hot cider and Santa will be on hand for this holiday bazaar.  Pictures with Santa cost $10 with all proceeds from this event going to the Red Door Animal Shelter!

Winter Arts & Crafts Expo – shop for original, handmade jewelry, ceramics, photography, painting, mixed-media and more at this 10th annual expo being held at the Evanston Art Center (2603 Sheridan Road) in Evanston on Saturday (10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.).  All proceeds from this expo will benefit the Evanston Art Center’s ongoing exhibition, scholarship and outreach programs!

And finally, let’s not forget the annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, November 22nd, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on State Street from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street now in its 79th year!

Are You Ready To Join Us As We Kick Off The Holiday Season?  If Not, We’ll Leave You Behind In The Dust!!!


Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 12:57 PM by Dean's Team


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