The Windy City is gearing up for a dazzling display of holiday spirit as the official Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Millennium Park is set to mark its 110th year on November 17. The iconic event is a cherished tradition that heralds the start of the festive season in Chicago.
Each year, Chicagoans and visitors from all around gather in Millennium Park to witness the enchanting moment when the city’s chosen tree is illuminated. In preparation for this grand celebration, applicants submitted nominations for trees to be considered for the honor of becoming the city’s seasonal centerpiece. To qualify, these trees must stand at a majestic minimum height of 45 feet and be located within a 50-mile radius from the heart of the Chicago Loop.
Last year’s magnificent tree was a 55-foot Colorado Blue Spruce, hailing from the charming suburban town of Morton Grove. It graced the park with its resplendent presence and illuminated the hearts of all who gathered to see it.
The tree lighting ceremony is scheduled to commence at 6 p.m. As part of the festivities, a thrilling lineup of events and performances is planned to captivate the audience. While this year’s artists and entertainers are yet to be announced, last year’s celebration was hosted by the dynamic duo of Matthew Rodrigues and Cortney Hall, known from NBC 5’s “Chicago Today.” The event featured captivating performances by DCs, local musical artists, and a breathtaking fireworks display that painted the night sky with a kaleidoscope of colors. Special guests, including the talented electric violinist Adia and numbers from the renowned “Wicked The Musical” by Broadway in Chicago, added an extra layer of enchantment to the festivities.
While awaiting the tree lighting ceremony, visitors can continue to bask in the warm glow of holiday cheer. If weather permits, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink offers a delightful ice-skating experience. Alternatively, revelers can glide along the winding paths of the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon, which is set to open on the same day as the tree lighting ceremony.
For those eager to immerse themselves in the spirit of the season through shopping and festivities, the Chicago Christkindlmarket will also open its doors on the same day. This beloved open-air market, inspired by the cherished Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, provides a charming backdrop for visitors to enjoy a unique shopping experience, savor traditional German treats, and revel in the enchanting holiday atmosphere.
So, mark your calendars for November 17, and get ready to witness the magic of Chicago’s official Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It’s a time-honored tradition that promises to light up the hearts and spirits of all who attend, setting the stage for a joyous holiday season in the Windy City.