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Explore Chicago’s Greektown

You’ve heard of Chicago’s Chinatown. Maybe you knew about Little Italy. But have you ever heard of Greektown? At five blocks long and roughly one wide, this enclave isn’t Chicago’s largest. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in influence — and fun.

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The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Start off the holiday season merry and bright at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. For over 50 years, Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue has lit up with joy for the holiday season.

With over 800 volunteers, this incredible day-long festival and evening tree-lighting parade lights up Michigan Avenue with holiday spirit. Families and friends from all over Chicago attend the parade each year to watch the glowing floats, talented marching bands, incredible balloons, and amazing live performances. Free, open to the public, and televised on ABC7, the parade travels under beautiful twinkling lights along Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive.

Before attending, make sure to check out the schedule of events. From meet and greets to parade preparation, there's always something fun leading up to the big parade. Beginning at 4:00 pm on Friday, November 22 and again at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 23, this is simply wonderful, can't-miss event if you're in town.

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The district

Greek immigrants first arrived in the city in the mid-19th century and quickly carved their niche in Chicago’s landscape. They brought the tastes and traditions of their old home to their new one, introducing the United States to gyros and saganaki in the 1960s. While most of Greektown’s original residents have since moved away, their impact can still be felt:

Greek restaurants and houses of worship line the neighborhood's streets, and every year, it plays host to the Taste of Greece festival and Greek Independence Day parade. The district even has its own “Passport Challenge,” incentivizing visitors to collect stamps from area restaurants and shops that can be exchanged for a goodie-filled tote. All that sits just over a mile away from the Hotel Chicago. Happy exploring!