CHICAGO, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Visitors are invited to shop like never before during The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival™ presented by MasterCard®, featuring brand new outdoor experiences along North Michigan Avenue. The annual festival is anchored by three major events over two weekends including, for the first time ever, "pop-up" shopping along The Magnificent Mile; the return of "A Magnificent Taste;" and the premier of The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half Marathon & 5K over Labor Day weekend.
A Magnificent Taste, Friday, August 22The Shopping Festival begins on Friday evening, August 22, with "A Magnificent Taste," an intimate fete fit for Chicago's foodie elite. The three-hour, ticketed event gives guests the opportunity to sample gourmet bites and craft cocktails from 15 of Chicago's popular and award-winning restaurants including Allium, Travelle, Bub City and The Lobby at The Peninsula—plus sweet treats from Magnolia Bakery and Argo Tea. While mingling with the chefs, guests may delight in the unique atmosphere of Pioneer Court, just north of the DuSable Bridge, with a stunning view of the city's scenic skyline and the Chicago River. This year's celebrity headliner is Chef Sam Talbot, former " Fan Favorite" on Bravo's Top Chef and one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive." VIP tickets are on sale now exclusively through Priceless® Chicago, including a private reception with Chef Talbot and an over-the-top gift bag. General admission tickets are available through www.TheMagnificentMile.com/AMagTaste. ShopFest, Saturday and Sunday, August 23 - 24The festivities continue through the weekend during ShopFest, August 23 – 24. North Michigan Avenue turns inside out along the street, as retailers greet shoppers with "pop-up" displays and interactive experiences from 11:00am to 6:00pm each day. Participants include major brands such as Macy's and American Girl Place® right outside of Water Tower Place. H2O+, GAP and AT&T will delight passersby with giveaways, deluxe samples and exclusive vouchers for use during the Shopping Festival. Just in time for the latest Fall fashion, luxury brands including Karen Millen, Cop Copine and LK Bennett will show off trendy looks onstage outside of 900 North Michigan Shops. As guests soak in the summer scene, they may "unthink" their surroundings when they discover the latest installation of "pop-up" art from The Art Institute of Chicago. And after a day of shopping, visitors may indulge in mini spa treatments from Mario Tricoci—and more! As part of ShopFest, Southwest Airlines (The Official Airline of The Magnificent Mile) presents Andy Grammer live in concert at the John Hancock Center plaza at 1:00pm on Saturday, August 23. The event is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a meet-and-greet with the singer-songwriter at Water Tower Place at 2:00pm. The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half-Marathon & 5K, Sunday, August 31The following weekend, Chicago welcomes more than 7,000 runners for The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half-Marathon & 5K on Sunday, August 31, produced by Fleet Feet Sports-Chicago. Two-time national champion and world-class athlete Lauren Fleshman joins this special event on The Magnificent Mile, which will feature the world-class streetscape as the course centerpiece. In addition, the district's retailers and restaurants will greet runners with exclusive offers over Labor Day weekend, including a dedicated "dine around" on Saturday evening to prepare for the big day. Plus more!MasterCard® cardholders receive VIP treament during The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival, including access to private events at retailers such as American Girl Place® and Bloomingdale's Priceless perks include exclusive early access and brunch at American Girl Place®. Additional priceless perks include special offers at 900 North Michigan Shops; eateries like Argo Tea and BlackFinn AmeriPub; and premium access at major events. Visit www.Priceless.com/chicago for more details. It's not too late to book an end-of-summer getaway for The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival. Shopping packages at area hotels include gift cards up to $250, exclusive shopping coupons and extra amenities for guests to enjoy. Stay longer and save more with special booking codes. Find more event information and a full list of special offers from retailers, restaurants, hotels and attractions around the district at TheMagnificentMile.com. About The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival™ presented by MasterCard®The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival™ presented by MasterCard® is an annual, district-wide celebration of The Magnificent Mile® shopping experience. This year's event is anchored by two major weekend experiences, including outdoor "Pop-up" shopping along North Michigan Avenue; the return of "A Magnificent Taste" featuring 18 popular and award-winning restaurants; and the premier of The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women's Half-Marathon & 5K. Visitors can also look forward to in-store and private events from The Magnificent Mile® Association's membership, composed of more than 750 retailers, restaurants, hotels and attractions around the district. For more information, visit TheMagnificentMile.com or follow The Magnificent Mile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and foursquare. About MasterCard® MasterCard® (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news. About Fleet Feet SportsThe Fleet Feet Sports-Chicago franchise is the highest grossing one in the national Fleet Feet chain – an accomplishment that has been repeated every year since 2000 under the stewardship of President and CEO, Dave Zimmer. This past fall, Formula 4 Media and Competitor Magazine named Fleet Feet one of the "50 Best Running Stores in America" - an honor the store has received every year since the award began in 2008. Crain's Chicago Business featured Zimmer on the cover of its edition focusing on local "Masters of Customer Service" in the fall of 2012. Fleet Feet-Chicago currently boasts four locations; Piper's Alley, Lincoln Square, the Roosevelt Collection and the new Elmhurst store – which joined the club in the spring of 2014. Visit www.FleetFeetChicago.com for more information. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140807/134630 SOURCE The Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival™ presented by MasterCard®