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Chicago Christmas tree 2021
Photograph: Courtesy DCASE

Chicago’s 2021 Christmas tree is coming from Logan Square

A 51-foot Blue Spruce from the North Side neighborhood will be moved to Millennium Park for the holidays.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

Christmas may be more than a month away, but Chicago's annual tree-lighting ceremony in Millennium Park is just weeks off—and the city has found its 108th Annual City of Chicago Christmas Tree. The Benavides family of Logan Square will provide the 51-foot Blue Spruce, which will be delivered to Millennium Park on Monday. Recent trees have come from places like Elmhurst, Grayslake, Wauconda and Northlake, so a local tree being picked as Chicago's official tree is a bit of an anomaly.

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While the tree will arrive at Millennium Park on Monday, it won't be lit up until November 19 at the city's Tree Lighting Ceremony. WGN's “Daytime Chicago” co-hosts Tonya Francisco and Amy Rutledge will emcee the event, which has been expanded to provide additional room for guests to take in the ceremony. This year, you'll find multiple viewing locations equipped with screens that will display a live broadcast throughout Millennium Park, as well as a main stage on the Great Lawn where performances will take place. The city is also setting up concessions, so you can have a snack while you watch the show (assuming you haven't already filled up on German fare at the nearby Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza, which opens on November 19).

This year's Tree Lighting Ceremony will kick off at 6pm, with appearances from Mariachi Herencia de Mexico, the cast of Chicago Opera Theater and a youth dance ensemble from the Kenwood School of Ballet. The 51-foot tree will be illuminated at 6:30pm, accompanied by a fireworks display. Once the lights are on, attendees will be able to take in an hour-long concert featuring DJ Selah Say, Cirque du Soleil performing an excerpt of ‘Twas the Night Before…, a Christmas medley from Chicago Soul Spectacular and a headlining performance from singer-songwriter Brian McKnight.

Of course, November 19 will also mark the opening of the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink just west of the Bean in Millennium Park—it's likely to be crowded, but dedicated ice skaters will likely be in attendance to slide across the rink for the first time in nearly two years. With popular holiday light displays like ZooLights and the Amaze Light Festival opening on the same night, it's going to be a busy evening for those who want to soak up some seasonal cheer ASAP.

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