The city celebrates its 100th Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Tuesday evening.
The free event starts at 5 p.m. in at Daley Plaza with live performances. The tree officially lights up at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display to follow.
It’s an annual tradition that started when the first municipal Christmas tree was lit on Dec. 24, 1913, in Grant Park, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events said.
“Each year Chicagoans gather for the annual tree lighting ceremony, just as they did 100 years ago,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Gathering with family and friends during the holidays is a timeless tradition. I hope you will join me on Daley Plaza for this very special celebration.”
The Chicago-area family who donated the tree will appear on stage with Emanuel. The winning tree — a 57-foot Colorado blue spruce from South Holland — has been adorned with about 29,000 lights and 300 decorations.
The lighting program includes the Joffrey Academy of Dance performing an excerpt from The Nutcracker, and Broadway in Chicago’s Elf the Musical and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer singing holiday songs.
The program and ceremony will be emceed by NBC’s Lester and Stefan Holt.
- Christmas tree lighting ceremony tonight at Daley Plaza (wgntv.com)
- Chicago Chooses Its 100th Official Christmas Tree (chicagoist.com)
- Chicago’s Christmas tree donated by South Holland family (suntimes.com)
- 2013 Chicago Tree Lighting Tuesday To Include Fireworks (chicago.cbslocal.com)