Dear Members,

On November 22 & 23, we kicked off the holiday season with our 28th annual BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, which is the third largest parade in the United States. With the support of nearly 50 sponsors and partners, The Magnificent Mile Association delighted 1 million guests with two days of free family activities and a magical tree-lighting parade that was open to all. We reached millions more across the nation and around the world, and we will continue to relive the magic with repeat airings of ABC7 Chicago’s parade broadcast through the new year. View the parade here!

Media attention on the Lights Festival was greater than ever before. At our “Testing of the Lights” event preview on Thursday, November 21, we welcomed all the local TV stations to Water Tower Park and received a first-time national shout-out on “Good Morning America.” We had the pleasure of interviewing multiple times with Univision and Telemundo to reach a Spanish speaking-audience. In total, we recorded 600M+ media impressions with a publicity value of $1.4M.

A major goal of the Lights Festival is to shine a light on our member businesses. We had incredible website traffic, with a record 46,000 users on parade day alone. Thanks to our partner agency, Choose Chicago, we know the economic impact of our holiday celebration, which generated more than 10,000 room nights, $1.1M in local tax, $1.3M in state tax and $26M in sales, supporting 16,000 jobs.

The BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is The Association’s gift to Chicago, and it would not be possible without 600 volunteers who staff the event, along with the support of our city and state partners. We understand the vital importance of the holiday season to many of our member businesses, and hope you’ve seen a boost in business over the last few weeks.

As we plan ahead for 2020, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at and


Kimberly Bares

President & CEO

Rich Gamble

Chairman of the Board