Millennium Park Christmas Tree Lighting Nov 22.
When: Friday, November 22, 2019, 5:30PM, 6:00PM-8PM
Where: Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue at Washington Street
The annual Millennium Park Christmas tree lighting and free festivities begin with a program at 5:30pm (bloviating public officials) , the official lighting at 6pm followed by musical performances and fireworks after the lights go on at 6:30pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also be stopping by.
The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will feature performances by:
The program will feature Grammy® Award-winning artist Jonathan Butler who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and recently released his second Christmas album, Christmas Together.
Also performing will be Cielito Lindo, a modern Latino Mariachi made up of the 9-member Lucero family. Performing the traditional music of Mexico, these 4th generation musicians are passionate about inspiring families to enjoy music, culture and creativity together.
Following, rag doll Eleanor and the elves from Eleanor’s Very Merry Christmas Wish – The Musical will show off their wrapping and “rapping.” The music performances will be followed by a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
This years victim is a 55-foot Blue Spruce from Elgin, Illinois.
Per the City of Chicago website: Chicago’s first municipal Christmas tree was lit in 1913 on Christmas Eve by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park. The tree was a 35-foot Douglas Spruce placed on 40-foot poles and studded with smaller trees to give the appearance of a much larger tree. It was decorated with 600 multi-colored lights and topped with the Star of Bethlehem.
The first Christmas tree was a gift of an associate of Captain Herman Scheunemann whose “Christmas Tree Ship” was lost in a storm in Lake Michigan on November 23, 1912.
As the years went on the city continued to create larger trees from many small trees. By 1956the tree was 70 feet tall, decorated with about 4,400 lights and more than 2,000 ornaments, and was located in the Grant Park tree platform at Congress Parkway and Michigan Avenue.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony was moved to Civic Center Plaza, known today as Daley Plaza, in December 1966.
In 1982, the location was changed to State Street and Wacker Drive, but returned to Daley Plaza the following year.
In 1991, Chicago’s Mayor Daley II asked the Department of Streets and Sanitation to find a large single tree to be transplanted in a city park after the holidays. The largest they could find was 35 feet tall. Hizzoner deemed that not large enough so the City killed 17 more trees to make it 50 feet tall.
In 2008 the City killed 112 trees used to form one large tree.
I’m not sure at what point the City started killing single giant 70 plus foot tall trees that are generally 60-70 years old. The site omits that information.