The city of Chicago lit its official 2019 Christmas tree in Millennium Park Friday evening, a sure sign the holiday season has begun, and Christmas isn't that far away after all.
Thousands of onlookers erupted with cheers as the lights flickered on the 55-foot blue spruce that was cut down earlier this month in Elgin.
The tree's owner, Gene Nelson, was selected from more than 40 submissions sent to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, city officials said.
The Nelson family had the opportunity to "flip the switch" at the 106th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Friday, officials said.
The program also feature Grammy Award-winning artist Jonathan Butler, who recently release a second Christmas album titled "Christmas Together." Cielito Lindo, a Latino Mariachi group performed followed by Eleanor and the evles from Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish - The Musical.
And of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance.
The tree will remain up through Jan. 6.
For more information, visit millenniumpark.org.