Last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office announced that Chicago's official Christmas tree will be moving from its longtime location at Daley Plaza to Millennium Park. This week, the city announced that it selected a 63-foot Colorado blue spruce from the Voelker family of suburban Northlake to be displayed in the park this holiday season.
The tree was cut down on Monday and will be transported to Millennium Park on Tuesday. It will be decorated over the next two weeks and lit at the city's 102nd annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 24.
In October, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced that it would accept nominations for this year's official tree. Nominees were required to be a spruce or a fir, taller than 55 feet and located less than 100 miles from the Loop. The city received 130 submissions, and the Voelker family's massive conifer beat out all of them.
The Voelkers will have the honor of "flipping the switch" at the Tree Lighting Ceremony later this month in an event that will feature performances by opera singer Renée Fleming, cast members of Emerald City Theatre's A Charlie Brown Christmas and the Latin Music Project Ensemble.
The tree's new location in Millennium Park is part of a larger initiative to create a "winter campus" in Chicago this holiday season. A hut for Santa Claus, the now fully functioning Maggie Daley Park, Cloud Gate and the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink will all be a part of the downtown destination.