Chicago's Christmas tree lighting ceremony returns to Millennium Park as a personal event | MCU Times

Chicago’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony returns to Millennium Park as a personal event

Chicago’s holiday season officially started Friday night with the lighting of the city’s official Christmas tree in Millennium Park.

The 51-foot blue spruce, donated by the Benavides family on Logan Square, was decorated with a variety of candles and ornaments. Noemi Benavides also celebrated his birthday last Friday. The tree had stood in their yard for 34 years.

This year’s event marked the return to a full-on-person celebration for the first time since 2019. Last year’s ceremony revolved around a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festivities, which boasted a fireworks display, also included a pre-show with DJ, DJ Selah Say, with extra entertainment provided by Mariachi Herencia de Mexico (who performed their new single, a mariachi version of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year “”), the cast of the Chicago Opera Theaters production of “Becoming Santa Claus”, a dance ensemble for young people from the Kenwood School of Ballet, and special guests Dreezy Claus and Sister Claus.

A concert with Grammy Award-nominated singer Brian McKnight, a performance by the cast of Cirque du Soleil’s “‘Twas the Night Before …” and the Chicago Soul Spectacular rounded off the musical extravaganza for the crowds at Great Lawn.

Friday’s celebration, hosted by WGN-TV’s Tonya Francisco and Amy Rutledge, marked the 108th annual Christmas tree lighting in Chicago. The tree will be on display through January 9, 2022, and the park will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

This year's official Chicago Christmas tree, in Millennium Park, is a 51-foot blue spruce, donated by the Benavides family on Logan Square.  It had stood in their yard for 34 years.

This year’s official Chicago Christmas tree, in Millennium Park, is a 51-foot blue spruce, donated by the Benavides family on Logan Square. It had stood in their yard for 34 years.
Pat Nabong / Sun-Times

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