Come next Saturday evening at 5:30pm, one of Chicago’s great holiday traditions will magically take place on Michigan Avenue as Mickey Mouse leads the 18th Annual Magnificent Mile Lights Festival now presented by Harris; two days of activities on the Magnificent Mile that welcome the holiday season with shopping, dining and entertainment.

The  Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a very important event at Eli’s as our President, Marc Schulman, was the Founding Chairman of the Lights Festival.  As then Secretary of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, Marc, with other volunteers and staff saw the potential to create an event on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to “light the lights” of the Magnificent Mile.

A special tradition of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a early visit to Chicago by Mickey Mouse to make sure that the lights are in place and ready to go on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

Mickey Marc (Large)

Eli’s Cheesecake President and Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Chairman Marc Schulman joins Mickey Mouse for an early morning testing of the lights on the Magnificent Mile.

Ellen and Mickey (Large)

The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is sponsored by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, a group of over 700 businesses and institutions that enhance, protect and  promote the Magnificent Mile. GNMAA Vice President of Communications, Ellen Farrar, is the Author of Arcadia Publishing’s “The Magnificent Mile” which details the history of the Magnificent Mile, the 50 years of lighting the Avenue and the history of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

mickey jennifer john c (Large)

Mickey Mouse is welcome to Chicago by Jennifer Woolford, of the Merchandise Mart, and the Chair of the 2009 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and John Chikow, a Lights Festival Chairman and now CEO of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association.