The Voelker family of Northlake, Illinois, will join Mayor Emanuel to light their 63-foot Colorado Blue Spruce as Chicago’s 102nd Christmas Tree
CHICAGO, 2015-11-13 — /Travel PR News/ — The City of Chicago is pleased to announce the lineup for the 102nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Tuesday, November 24, in Millennium Park (Washington St. and Michigan Ave.). The FREE event begins at 5:30pm with performances headlined by Renée Fleming, one of the world’s most celebrated sopranos. The official tree lighting will be at6pm.
“For more than one hundred years, Chicagoans have gathered for the annual tree lighting ceremony to officially start the holiday season,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I invite you to join me in Millennium Park together with your family and friends for this long held holiday tradition.”
Chicago’s 102nd Christmas Tree was donated by the Voelker family of Northlake, Illinois. Their 63-foot Colorado Blue Spruce was selected out of 130 submissions received by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The Voelker family will join Santa Claus and other guests to light the tree at the annual ceremony. The tree will be cut down onMonday, November 9 at 9am and delivered to Millennium Park on Tuesday, November 10 at 9pm.
Headlining the ceremony is one of the most beloved musical ambassadors of our time, Renée Fleming, “the people’s diva.” Since 2010 she has served as the Creative Consultant at Lyric Opera of Chicago and this holiday season she will be appearing in Lyric’s presentation of The Merry Widow with seven performances beginning November 14. Ms. Fleming will perform holiday classics during the ceremony.
Internationally acclaimed soprano, Danielle de Niese, appearing in Lyric Opera’s world premiere of Bel Canto, will also perform at the tree lighting ceremony. Bel Canto was curated by Renée Fleming and is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Ann Patchett. The new opera was created by composer Jimmy Lopez and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrite Nilo Cruz. Lyric’s music director, Sir Andrew Davis, will conduct the world premier when it opens on December 7 with performances through January 17 at Lyric.
Cast members from Emerald City Theatre’s A Charlie Brown Christmas will perform songs from the stage production running November 14 through January 3, 2016, at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. A Charlie Brown Christmas is based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson and adapted for the stage by Eric Schaeffer by special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson.
Completing the program, the Latin Music Project Ensemble, part of the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA), will perform traditional holiday music. Throughout, the tree lighting ceremony will be emceed by the father/daughter duo of Bob Jordan, WGN TV Weekend Anchor, and Karen Jordan, ABC 7 Weekend Anchor and reporter.
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. This holiday season, the tree is moving to Millennium Park to combine with other holiday activities to create 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 102nd Christmas 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.”
Santa Claus will also set up shop in Millennium Park this holiday season. Santa’s midwest headquarters will be open to children of all ages where they can visit and have their picture taken with Santa Claus throughout the holiday season. Parents and caregivers are asked to use their own cameras for photos.
Special visits with Santa Claus begin on Tuesday, November 24 immediately following the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony until 8pm and on Thanksgiving Day from noon–3pm. For Santa’s regular visiting hours and dates visit cityofchicago.org/dcaseor millenniumpark.org.
The 102nd Tree Lighting Ceremony is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and sponsored in part by the Chicago Cultural Mile Association. Additional support provided by the Chicago Transit Authority and lights adorning the Christmas tree donated by IBEW Local 134. Admission is FREE to the Tree Lighting Ceremony and all other holiday activities in the Park.
For information about Millennium Park, visit millenniumpark.org, call 312.742.1168 and join the conversation on Facebook (Millennium Park), Twitter and Instagram (@Millennium_Park). For information about programs presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase and join the conversation on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter and Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE).
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
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 assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.
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SOURCE: City of Chicago