The City of Chicago is now accepting tree nominations through October 26, Tree Lighting Ceremony is November 24
The city is accepting nominations for trees in the Chicagoland area, through October 26. The tree selected will serve as Chicago’s “official” Christmas Tree this holiday season and the family of the selected tree will get the opportunity to “flip the switch” and light the tree at the 102nd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 24.
The City’s first official Christmas Tree was lit by Mayor Carter Harrison in 1913 in Grant Park at Monroe St. and Michigan Ave – two blocks from where the tree will now stand. For 52 years, from 1913 to 1965, Chicago’s official Christmas Tree stood in various locations in Grant Park. In 1966, the tree was moved to Daley Plaza where it has been for the last 48 years with one exception: in 1982 the tree was moved to State St. and Wacker Dr. but returned to Daley Plaza the following year.
The 2015 tree will be unveiled at the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, November 24, in Millennium Park beginning with a program at 5:30 p.m. and the official lighting at 6 p.m. The City of Chicago’s 102nd Christmas Tree will move this holiday season to Millennium Park near the intersection of Michigan Ave. and Washington St. Santa Claus will also set up shop for visits in the park during the holiday season as well as ice skating, Caroling at Cloud Gate among other activities in Chicago’s premier “winter wonderland.”
“The ice skating rink in Millennium Park, Caroling at Cloud Gate and the opening of Maggie Daley Park provide a unique site for Chicagoans to view and enjoy the city’s 102ndChristmas Tree,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “The combined two park sites offer plenty of robust seasonal programming and entertainment at Chicago’s new “winter campus.”
Through October 26, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is accepting tree nominations from the Chicagoland area. Ceremony details and visits with Santa Claus in Millennium Park will be announced soon.
In order to secure the perfect tree, all trees nominated must meet the following criteria:
Be at least 55 feet or taller;
Be located less than 100 miles from Chicago’s Loop; and
Preferably, be a Spruce or Fir Tree. Pine trees are ineligible, they are not sturdy enough.
Trees that do not meet the criteria will not be considered.
All submissions need to include:
The name(s) of owners, address, contact information, etc.;
At least two photographs (one from afar and one up close);
A brief description of why your tree should be Chicago’s Official Christmas Tree and include any background information on the tree that makes it special.
Trees can be submitted via email to DCASE@cityofchicago.org or by mail to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, ATTN: Christmas Tree Contest, 78 E. Washington Street, Chicago, Ill. 60602 (must be received by October 26). Chicago’s 102nd Christmas Tree will be announced in early November. For complete details, please visit cityofchicago.org/dcase.
HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING IN MILLENNIUM PARK
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink Opening
Friday, November 13
Michigan Ave. between Washington St. and Madison St.
Enjoy performances by ice skaters from Ice Reach, a non-profit outreach organization dedicated to promoting participating and involvement in ice sports, and then get on the ice yourself to open the winter season in Millennium Park. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink remains open through mid-March, weather permitting.
102nd Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting
Tuesday, November 24
Near Michigan Ave. and Washington St.
Welcome the 102nd Chicago Christmas Tree to a new location in Millennium Park, a location recognized around the world for its architectural landmarks and cultural programming.
Santa Claus in Millennium Park
Tuesday, November 24 from 6–8 p.m., immediately following the Tree Lighting Ceremony; Thursday, November 26 (Thanksgiving) noon–3 p.m.; and
Saturdays and Sundays from November 28–December 20, noon–6 p.m.
Welcome Center, 201 E. Randolph St.
Caroling at Cloud Gate
Fridays, November 27, December 4, December 11 and December 18
Santa 5–6 p.m.; Caroling 6–7 p.m.
Cloud Gate, aka „The Bean”
Bundle up and get ready to belt out some holiday classics at these festive events that are part concert, part sing-along. Local Chicago choral groups lead hundreds of celebrants in song. Following Caroling at Cloud Gate, head a few steps down to the McCormick Tribune Plaza for a spin on the McCormick Tribune ice rink in Millennium Park.
HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING IN THE CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER
Sunday, December 6
noon and 3 p.m.
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
Sugarplum fairies and mouse kings of all ages and abilities are invited to point their toes to the familiar music of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic with Ballet Chicago at this FREE performance.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural asses to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.