One of our annual traditions the day after Thanksgiving is to try and burn off some calories by walking around the Christkindlmarket at Daley Plaza, then hanging around for the lighting of the Christmas Tree (trivia: it's actually about 130 smaller trees lashed together). So we were a bit surprised when we heard that the lighting ceremony has been moved this year to Tuesday, December 2 at noon. Whaaa? How can you have an event featuring a bazillion lights and fireworks (and boy won't those wake up the downtown cubicle dwellers) in the middle of a weekday? Is anyone even going to be able to tell when the Mayor flips the switch?
"The tree is dark. OOOOHHH, now it's kinda not so dark."
So what gives? A quick call to the Mayor's Office of Special Events gave us an "A-HA!" moment -- it's the budget, stupid. Since only crucial city employees are working the day after Thanksgiving, it had to be moved to a regular work day (the change in time is presumably to curb overtime costs). Boo! Our Christmas sparkle just got a little bit dimmer. Though Tankboy pointed out when he passed us at the Chicagoist water cooler, "Considering how early it gets dark now, it could be pitch black by noon."
Photo of the way it should be from the City of Chicago website