Of the many parades the great city of Chicago offers, the Fesitval of Lights is my favorite. As thousands of people gather to watch, Mickey and Minnie Mouse glide down Michigan Avenue, turning on all of the lights bordering the street as they pass by. Following Mickey’s and Minnie’s float are many other Disney-themed floats that create quite a spectacle on the Magnificent Mile.
There are many reasons I look forward to this parade, the first being that it represents everything magical. I can vaguely remember my first trip to Disney World when I was 6 years old. Of the few things I can recall, the first is losing trust in my dad after he told me that Splash Mountain has no drop. The second is the parade of Disney characters that bid all visitors fair tidings at the end of the night. Capping off this particular night thirteen years ago was a fireworks show, very similar to the one the city of Chicago provided us Festival of Light go-ers.
In addition to the fond childhood memories that the Festival of Lights brings back, I am also very fond of the fall/winter season, and the Festival, in a way, marks the beginning of the colder seasons here in Chicago. Sure, by late March I may be a little sick of the heavy winds and single digit temperatures, but I live for the winter coat weather because this means hot chocolate, snowball fights and of course, the holidays.
And yes, the proximity of the Festival of Lights and the Christmas Season is the final reason I enjoy the Festival. Despite having to sacrifice a night of studying or relaxing to make this event, I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. If I can hold on for just a few more weeks, I will be home free, literally. These lights are symbolic of the proverbial “lights at the end of the tunnel”, and with the semester coming to a close, what better way to cheer in Christmas break.
Photos taken by Brian Bafaro