Have you heard how AWESOME we were in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival?! It was a cold day from start to finish, but GiGi’s brought warmth to the hearts of millions of people.
A few weeks before the big event, we ordered 5,000 hot chocolate packets to hand out to everyone who would be lining the route! With the help of the Hoffman Estates Playhouse staff, we placed a GiGi’s sticker on each packet… making sure people remembered us among the sea of floats. We expected to leave the parade with leftovers. On parade day, we were not even halfway through the route and we ran out!
Our volunteers, participants, and staff members braved the bitter cold temperatures to represent! Our crew started arriving around noon to attend a special orientation on how to accurately walk with our giant balloon (shoutout to Twinkles the Snowman)! It was our responsibility to maneuver the balloon and avoid running into low-hanging trees (we’re talking about you, Oak Street)!
We wanted to make sure the world saw us, so we rented a trolley to increase our presence and include even more families in this momentous celebration. The trolley was heated, providing some relief when hands and toes started to get cold. Inside, it was decorated with a Christmas tree and played Christmas music as we cruised around.
It truly was a magical experience walking down the busiest street in Chicago, with millions of people hearing the GiGi’s Playhouse message of “Acceptance for All”!
We hope you were able to watch us on your local ABC affiliate. Check here to see when the Lights Festival Parade will air in your market.