The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is a holiday festival that takes place annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving along Chicago's Magnificent Mile. It is hosted by the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association.The Lights Festival began modestly in 1949 when members of The Greater North Michigan Avenue Association installed a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree, decorated with over 1,500 lights and a six-foot star topper, into the Water Tower Park. In 1959, the Saks Fifth Avenue store replaced its historical holiday decorations with Italian white lights, stringing them on the branches of the elm trees in front of the store. The trend was continued by neighboring stores and has grown in both popularity and scope into the Lights Festival we know today. The festival is focused on the illumination of more than one million lights on two hundred trees along North Michigan Avenue, from Oak Street on the North to Wacker Drive/the Chicago River on the South.