CHICAGO — Thousands of people are expected to flood downtown Saturday for the annual light’s festival, kicking off the holidays and retailers are hoping for a robust season.

In preparation for all the activity, Chicago police have their holiday operations currently underway.

From the annual tree lighting to the ice rink opening up in Millenium Park and the Christkindlmarkets returning, the city is rejoicing for the holiday festivities going into Thanksgiving.

Police are attempting reassure residents, retailers and tourists that the city is safe by saying the city’s crime rate is down.

CPD said to expect heavy officer presence on the Magnificent Mile with roll calls and police cars close by to heavy pedestrian presence. The CTA will also be following similar safety precautions.

“We have a plan to make that if there are any threats that we respond to them quickly,” CPD Supt. David Brown said.

Retailers have also been increasing security due to pedestrian traffic inching closer to pre-covid levels.

The Magnificent Mile lights festival gets underway Saturday and the parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening, with fireworks scheduled for 7 p.m.