CHICAGO — The Magnificent Mile Lights festival kicked off in the Loop Saturday.

From the annual tree lighting to the ice rink opening back up in Millenium Park, the city has rejoiced for holiday festivities.

Among those celebrated events is the Mag Mile Lights Festival parade, which marks an unofficial Chicago tradition that kicks off the holiday season every year, and despite the frigid temperatures, thousands still lined the parade route down the historic Chicago road from Oak Street to Wacker Drive.

“Just to know that the city of Chicago came and put all of this together, so we could come back and reunite with our families,” said Karibe A.T. “It means a lot.”

In preparation for the parade, CPD placed barricades along the parade’s route and began ramping up their police presence downtown.

“This morning they came and checked and made sure we were okay,” said Mayra Cisneros, General Manager of Chicago Sports and Novelty, about CPD’s downtown safety program during the holiday season. “They’re walking around [and] they’re more approachable.”

Once the parade ends, parade attendees can expect fireworks to begin near the intersection of Wacker and Michigan around 7 p.m.