102nd Tree Lighting Ceremony at Millennium Park

It’s almost that time, ladies and gentlemen. The holidays are fast approaching, and with that comes the inevitable tree lighting ceremony in Chicago.

This year, the City of Chicago is welcoming the official Christmas Tree to its new location, Millennium Park. Seem weird? That’s because the tree has been located at Daley Plaza for almost 50 years now.

Chicago Tree Lighting
So Why Move the Tree?

With the completion of Maggie Daley Park, and with two skating areas in the immediate vicinity, Millennium Park has become the central holiday location in Chicago (if it wasn’t already). While the Christkindlmarket will remain at Daley Plaza, the tree will have to send its regards from afar this time around.

“The combined two park sites offer plenty of robust seasonal programming and entertainment at Chicago’s new ‘winter campus,'” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.


Traditionalists may not be so welcoming of the move, but Chicago’s original Christmas tree was actually placed about two blocks from where the current one will stand. In 1913, Mayor Carter Harrison Jr. lit the first ever city tree in Grant Park near Michigan Ave and Monroe Street.

Christmas Tree Lighting
About the Tree Lighting Ceremony

The 102nd Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will take place on Tuesday, November 24th. Aside from the actual lighting of the tree, highlights include performances by Renee Fleming, Danielle de Niese, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the Latin Music Project Ensemble. Performances begin at 5:30 pm and the lighting ceremony takes place at 6:00 pm. The entire event is free to the public.