By Charlie De Mar

(CBS) – They’re adding final touches to the Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights, which is sure to attract thousands this weekend.

But will planned political protests have an impact on the fun?

For many, the BMO Harris Bank’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is the kickoff to the holiday season and organizers are hoping for an uninterrupted celebration.

“We are actually expanding it and starting off on Friday night,” says the event’s chairman, Ivan Matsunaga. “It’s a lot of people, and a lot of happy people.”

Manoj Bahl says: “It’s a big thing here in Chicago, so I would love to be able to embrace it with my kids and my wife.”

But another large protest against President-elect Donald Trump planned for Friday has event organizers hoping it doesn’t play Scrooge.

“My hope is that because this is a kid event, it’s here for families, that people would respect that and let them have their joy, let them have their fun,” Matsunaga says.

Chicago police are also on high alert after a rash of recent armed retail robberies. Mishael Cisneros and Dierra Bluitt, both 18, were arrested and charged.

 

Charlie De Mar