Press Release

November 10, 2023

Media relations
Jayme Nicholas
(312) 750-7254
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Lights! Music! Magic!

ABC 7 Chicago Kicks Off the Holiday Season Nationwide With the Broadcast of the Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival’ Hosted by Cheryl Burton and Ryan Chiaverini Sunday, Nov. 19, at 6 P.M.The press release title

Featuring grand marshals Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse from Walt Disney World Resort® in Florida; special performances on top of Chicago’s Iconic Wrigley Building include Toni Puente Jr., Broadway in Chicago’s “Hamilton,” “Boop:  The Musical,” Sister Sledge, The Sugar Hill Gang and more.

The magic of the holidays, Chicago style, is captured for viewers around the country with spectacular entertainment, beloved Walt Disney World characters, luminous floats, Santa and dazzling fireworks as more than a million twinkling Michigan Avenue lights set the stage for the broadcast of the fantastic Wintrust Magnificent Mile Lights Festival airing Sunday, Nov. 19, from 6 – 7 p.m. on ABC 7 Chicago. Encore broadcasts will air Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 11 p.m. The parade steps off on Oak Street and travels down Michigan Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m.

ABC 7 Eyewitness anchors Cheryl Burton and Ryan Chiaverini will serve as co-hosts of the broadcast along with ABC 7’s Judy Hsu and Hosea Sanders who bring sparkle and excitement reporting street side.

The Lights Festival Parade will be available on demand and stream exclusively on and ABC 7’s Connected TV Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.

Dazzling audience with a star-studded lineup, the country’s largest evening holiday celebration will open with Broadway in Chicago’s Tony® Award-winning “Hamilton,” celebrating its return to Chicago; and “Boop! The Musical,” a new Broadway-bound extravaganza; along with Latin jazz family legend and musician Tito Puente Jr. – all lighting up Chicago with performances atop the iconic Wrigley Building. Audiences will be sure to sing along when GRAMMY®-nominated Sister Sledge rocks Chicago belting out their popular and timeless hit, “We are Family.” The pioneers of hip-hop, The Sugar Hill Gang, will have everyone dancing in the streets with their famous hit, “Rapper’s Delight.” Keeping the groove going with the holiday spirit are The Funky Bunch, Chicago native and “The Voice” finalist Katie Kadan and “American Idol” finalist Colin Stough.

In the first official parade of the holidays, grand marshals Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse illuminate over 1 million lights on 200 trees along The Magnificent Mile, one of the grandest avenues in the world. Appearing on an awe-inspiring float, the world’s most famous couple will lead the way for Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Mirabel from “Encanto,” and breathtaking floats. Marching bands from around the country, in addition to returning fan favorites, the Crystal Lake Strikers, will bring the thrill of drums beating down the Mag Mile. Soaring alongside Chicago’s spectacular architecture, helium balloons including Rudolph, presented by the athletes and families of Special Olympics, Illinois, a giant festive gift package from Water Tower Place and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital balloons, will delight parade goers.

This is the 15th consecutive year the much-anticipated tradition will be broadcast to Chicago audiences on ABC 7, the most-watched television station in the city. Throughout the holiday season, the special will also be watched in 198 U.S. markets throughout the holiday season, reaching nearly 100% of the country plus Toronto, Canada, with encore airings in multiple markets. Check local listings for times.

Members of the ABC 7 Eyewitness News team – Ravi Baichwal, Jessica D’Onofrio, Rob Elgas, Michelle Gallardo, Dionne Miller and Cheryl Scott – will be spreading good cheer as they ride atop ABC 7 Chicago’s whimsical float during the parade. The broadcast’s grand finale will light up the sky (and children’s hearts) with a dazzling fireworks display over the Chicago River, just as Santa makes his exciting arrival on the scene.

About ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago 
ABC7/WLS-TV Chicago is the No. 1 local news source and most-watched television station in Chicago. With top-rated daily newscasts spanning decades and the largest social media presence in the market with more than 2.6 million Facebook followers, ABC7 Eyewitness News provides breaking news, investigative reporting, weather, politics, traffic and sports in the multiplatform space to Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana. Named Best News Operation by the Associated Press for four consecutive years, ABC 7 Eyewitness News produces “Chicago Proud,” a series of features that spotlights everyday heroes in and around Chicago. The station also produces the highest-rated New Year’s Eve special in Chicago, holiday kickoff special “The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival,” syndicated to a national audience, as well as the award-winning program series “Our Chicago,” which showcases the city’s diversity and highlights contributions in the Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+ communities, among others. Every Friday, Windy City Weekend, entertains while giving Chicagoans everything they need to know about what’s happening in the city. ABC 7 is the only Chicago station producing and broadcasting parades representing Chicago’s rich cultural history. In addition to producing town halls focused on current social issues, the station has a long and proud tradition of broadcasting political candidate debates keeping Chicago’s electorate informed. ABC7’s outreach efforts include annual partnerships with the Red Cross for life-saving blood drives, one of the biggest one-day drives in the country and, most recently, spearheading an effort to raise more than $1.5 million for area food pantries.  


Media Contact:
Jayme Nicholas
(312) 750-7254