Chicago’s 104th Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, November 17, 2017 • 6pm

Millennium Park

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Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
(click on image to enlarge)


Enjoy this holiday tradition, a glittering tree set among Chicago’s sparkling skyline and the iconic art of Millennium Park. The City of Chicago is proud to present the 104th Anniversary of the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 17. Chicago’s 104th Christmas Tree was donated by Darlene Dorfler of Grayslake, Illinois. The 62-foot Norway Spruce was selected out of 71 submissions received by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The ceremony will be emceed by WGN TV's Demetrius Ivory and Erin Ivory along with a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.


Admission to the Tree Lighting Ceremony and all other holiday activities in Millennium Park is free.

The Christmas Tree will remain up until Saturday, January 6, 2018.

The Tree Lighting ceremony begins at 6pm with holiday music featuring:


Cast members from Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas CarolGoodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol

Goodman Theatre celebrates 40 years of stage magic with its annual holiday production, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol—which is hailed as the “crown jewel of the holiday season” (Daily Herald). As part of the city’s annual tree lighting, cast members from the production will perform musical selections from the show plus traditional holiday carols. Directed by Henry Wishcamper, the production appears at the Goodman, November 18 – December 31. To purchase tickets ($25 - $112) and for more information, visit


Southwest Airlines presents Temecula RoadTemecula Road

The rising country music trio comprised of sisters Emma and Maddie Slute and Dawson Anderson. The group will also perform on November 18 during the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile® Lights Festival.


Oakdale Christian Academy ChoirOakdale Christian Academy Choir

70 students from the Oakdale Christian Academy Choir will perform inspirational holiday music.

Oakdale Christian Academy Choir serves approximately seventy-five (75) students between the age of seven and fourteen, who are enrolled at Oakdale Christian Academy in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, the choir serves approximately twenty (20) alumni members who desire to continue to serve and grow by lending their gifts and talents to the music program at Oakdale Christian Academy. All participants are required to maintain good academic standing at Oakdale Christian Academy or their local school.


About the 2017 Christmas Tree

The Norway Spruce donated by Darlene Dorfler is 62-feet tall with a 37-foot base.

2017 Christmas Tree


History of Chicago's 2017 Christmas Tree
by Darlene Dorfler

The John Olsen family owned multiple lots on Garfield Blvd. Around 1930 John Olsen built a house on one of the lots for himself, his wife Doris, and daughters, Arlene and Thelma. They frequently traveled to northern Wisconsin and brought back tree seedlings that the girls would plant on the property. Many grew and flourished. During those early year, there were many spruce trees in the area. This tree was most likely planted in the late 30s or early 40s, and is one of the few that was never pruned, or removed.

We met the Olsen family in 1975 when we moved into the neighborhood. Arlene lived in the family home until 2012, when she passed away at the age of 91. In her later years, at Christmas time, Arlene would look at this tree and say it would be so wonderful to see it lit up for Christmas. We purchased the property in 2013, removed the house and cleared the lots but left this tree because it was shaped so nice. My husband, Frank, often said it would make a wonderful Christmas tree for the city or even Washington DC. The City of Chicago is making both of their dreams come true. It will be a Christmas tree for the City of Chicago and it will be lit up as Arlene always hoped it would be.


Information and Resources

Millennium Park

Millennium Park
Near Michigan Ave. & Washington St.
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601

FREE Admission

Millennium Park Open Daily, 6am-11pm 

Visitor Information

 The City of Chicago's 1913 Christmas Tree in Grant Park

History of the Christmas Tree


Wabash Randolph Self Park

Pricing: $16 for 4 hours

Entrances located at 20 E Randolph Street & 166 N Wabash Avenue

Located one block west of Michigan Avenue, Wabash Randolph Self Park is within close proximity to many of downtown Chicago’s dining, shopping and entertainment districts. The Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Daley Plaza, State Street, the Thompson Center, Macy’s, the Art Institute, and the Renaissance, Wit, and Burnham hotels are all within walking distance.

To purchase parking or for more information:


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