South Holland family donates Chicago's official Christmas tree

2013-11-04T11:20:00Z 2013-11-04T23:14:11Z South Holland family donates Chicago's official Christmas treeTimes Staff and Wire Report
November 04, 2013 11:20 am  • 

CHICAGO | Chicago authorities say the city's official Christmas tree will be a 57-foot Colorado blue spruce from South Holland.

Terri Moore and her daughters, Kristen, 11, and Taylor, 8, are donating the tree that sits on their front lawn in the 1200 block of East 165th Place.

"It's a great honor," said Terri Moore. "There were 90 submissions and to have been selected is really an honor."

Moore grew up in Chicago's Hyde Park and Park Manor neighborhoods and remembers visiting the Chicago Christmas tree as a child.

The massive tree will be illuminated on Nov. 26 during a special downtown ceremony in Daley Plaza beginning at 5 p.m. with live performances headlined by Darlene Love followed by the lighting ceremony at 6 p.m.

Officials with the city's Cultural Affairs Department say the tree from the Chicago suburb will be felled on Thursday. It's set to make its way to Daley Plaza on Friday.

This is the 100th year that Chicago has displayed an official tree downtown.

In 1913, the first Christmas tree was a gift to Chicago from an associate of Capt. Herman Scheunemann and was lit in his honor. He was the captain of the Rouse Simmons, known as the "Christmas Tree ship." The ship was lost in a storm on Nov. 23, 1912 on Lake Michigan.

The first municipal Christmas tree was lit on Dec. 24, 1913 by Mayor Carter H. Harrison in Grant Park. In a news release, city officials say the first tree was a 35-foot Douglas Spruce that was augmented to make it look much larger.

Since 2009, Chicago's Christmas tree has been a single tree donated by a Chicago-area family. The Moore family was encouraged by family and friends to submit their tree this year.

They will join Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Santa Claus and special guests to light the tree.

The tree was selected with the assistance of The Brickman Group, a Maryland-based landscaping and tree maintenance firm with locations nationwide, including Chicago.

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