A Guide to Chicago's Tree Lighting Ceremony 2022, Coming up Friday

If it hasn't started to feel like the holidays just yet, it will on Friday, once a 55-foot Colorado Blue Spruce tree from suburban Morton Grove lights up in Millennium Park.

The tree, which was cut down and transported to the city on a giant flatbed earlier this month, beat out more than 80 other tree entries to become Chicago's 109th annual "Official" Christmas Tree.

The 109th annual Chicago "official" Christmas tree gets loaded onto a flatbed after being cut down in suburban Morton Grove

It's now getting decorated and spruced up, the city says, with its first big appearance set for Chicago's annual tree lighting ceremony set for Nov. 18 in Millennium Park.

Chicago's Tree Lighting Ceremony Schedule of Events

The annual Chicago tradition that ushers in the holiday season begins at 5 p.m. Friday in Millennium Park near "The Bean," according to the city.

Guests can enter the park through the South Promenade on Monroe Street.

Keep Reading: From Tree Lightings, to Christmas Markets, to Ice Skating at Wrigley Field, Chicago Holiday Events are Here

Multiple viewing locations with screens and concessions will be set up across the park, with the ceremony's main stage on Grainer Plaza near Cloud Gate.

Nearby parking garages and public transit information can be found here.

The ceremony will be hosted by Matthew Rodrigues and Cortney Hall of NBC 5's "Chicago Today," and will include live music, performances from Broadway in Chicago's "Wicked", and more. Here's the schedule of events:

  • 5 p.m.: Pre-Show with DJ Mwelwa and Cabaret ZaZou
  • Around 6 p.m.: Traditional Tree lighting ceremony, with performances by Son Monarcas, Broadway In Chicago: Wicked’s Lissa deGuzman “Elphaba” and Jennafer Newberry “Glinda” singing “For Good," Jumaane Taylor and Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Stone Soup Rhythms; and special guests Dreezy Claus and Sister Claus
  • 6:25 p.m.: Fireworks
  • 6:30 p.m.- 7 p.m.: Electric Violinist Adia and DJ Mwelwa

The tree will be on display at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Washington Street through Jan. 9.

How to Watch the Chicago Tree Lighting

NBC 5 Chicago will stream the event live online and on the NBC Chicago app.

Ice Skating at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Millennium Park Art Market

Also opening Nov. 18 for the season is the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, and the Millennium Park Art Market.

Admission to the ice rink is free, but reservations are required. Reservations for session times and dates vary and can be found here. Skate rentals are extra.

Millennium Park's Art Market, featuring local artists selling jewelry, pottery, art and more, begins Nov. 18 and runs through Nov. 20.

Chicago's "official" Christmas tree isn't the only giant tree on display in the city this Christmas season, however.

Shortly after Halloween, Macy's on State Street began installing its 45-foot Christmas tree inside the department store's historic Walnut Room.

The "Great Tree." in its 115th year, dons 1,500 ornaments designed by Macy's Visual team. Unlike other Christmas trees, it hangs from the ceiling instead of sitting on a base -- and the star that sits at the top is the very first piece to be installed, Macy's says.

According to a press release, Macy's holiday windows will be on display until Jan. 1, and the "Great Tree" will remain up through Jan. 9.

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