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Millennium Park will be the epicenter of holiday cheer in Chicago, featuring your favorite seasonal traditions, Chicago’s official Christmas Tree, ice skating, music, exhibitions, a NEW art market and free family fun. The 105th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Friday, November 16, at 6pm, featuring music, Santa Claus and program emcee Miguel Cervantes, who can now be seen as Alexander Hamilton in the Hamilton Chicago Company currently playing Broadway In Chicago’s CIBC Theatre, as well as fireworks after the lights go on at 6:30pm.
The program will feature music by actress, singer and songwriter Cozi Zuehlsdorff. Her career started off with a bang at the age of 12 when she was cast as Hazel in the feature film Dolphin Tale along with its successful sequel. She can be seen in the recently released Disney DCOM Freaky Friday and look for Cozi's Christmas release "It's a Wonderful Life" coming out this month. Cozi will also be taking part in the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Saturday, November 17 aboard the Southwest Airlines float.
Also performing will be cast members from Emerald City Theatre’s production of Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, on stage this holiday season at Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, now playing through December 30. Additional music performances by musicians from the Grant Park Music Festival will be followed by a special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The City of Chicago’s 105th Christmas Tree is a 60-foot Norway Spruce from Elmhurst, Illinois, donated by Deborah Orth and her family. The Tree, selected out of 79 tree nominations, will shine in Chicago’s iconic Millennium Park (Washington St. and Michigan Ave.) from November 16 through January 6, 2019. The lights adorning the Tree are being donated by IBEW Local 134 and the decor at its base is provided by the Millennium Park Foundation.
NEW this year, the Millennium Park Art Market with School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Columbia College Chicago and After School Matters will feature one-of-a-kind items, including jewelry, fashion, painting, sculpture, prints, drawings and more on sale by more than 150 student artists. Part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Creative Youth, the Holiday Art Market is supported by the Millennium Park Foundation. The market is free admission and will run November 16–18, 11am–7pm in a heated tent on the Chase Promenade North.
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park will also open earlier in the day on Friday, November 16, at noon, with skating continuing through Mid–March 2019. The ice rink will offer skating with a twist this season through Themed Skate Nights on most Thursdays, November 29–March 7, 6–8pm. Skaters are invited to put on a festive costume and join us for themed ice skating parties hosted by local Chicago DJs.
Highlights for the Holiday Season at the Millennium Park Campus
The Millennium Park Campus is comprised of events and attractions at Millennium Park, the Chicago Cultural Center, Maggie Daley Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harris Theater and Park Grill. For the complete schedule of events, visit millenniumpark.org.
Bundle up and get ready to belt out some holiday classics during Caroling at Cloud Gate. This festive series is part concert, part sing-along at Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean” on Fridays, November 23 through December 14 with a bonus performance on Wednesday, December 12. Concerts are free and scheduled from 6 until 7pm, weather permitting.
Caroling At Cloud Gate Schedule
There’s more skating and family fun just across the BP Bridge at the Skating Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park. The Wreathing of the Lions has been a tradition at the Art Institute of Chicago for more than 25 years; watch on November 23 as cheery holiday wreaths are placed on the regal lion statues on the museum steps (where they’re up all season), then head inside for art-making activities. And you won’t want to miss the Dance-Along Nutcracker® at the Chicago Cultural Center on December 2—with dance lessons and live music for children of all ages and abilities under the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome.
Admission is FREE to all Millennium Park holiday events and made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation, with support from the Chicago Transit Authority. For information about Millennium Park, visit millenniumpark.org, call 312.742.1168, and join the conversation on Facebook (Millennium Park), Twitter and Instagram (@Millennium_Park).
For information about the Chicago Cultural Center, visit chicagoculturalcenter.org, call 312.744.3316, and join the conversation on Facebook (Chicago Cultural Center), Twitter and Instagram (@ChiCulturCenter).
And for information about programs presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase, call 312.744.3316, and join the conversation on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter and Instagram (@ChicagoDCASE) #ChiHolidays.
Millennium Park Campus holiday events are produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Chicago Park District, Lurie Garden, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Harris Theater, the International Music Foundation and The Park Grill & Plaza at Millennium Park. For the latest news and events, download the Millennium Park app, visit millenniumpark.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @Millennium_Park.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/dcase.
Millennium Park Foundation
The Millennium Park Foundation, a private, philanthropic nonprofit partner, was created in 1998 to support the City of Chicago’s efforts in the design, construction, and curation of Millennium Park. It is the steward of Millennium Park’s internationally-recognized icons and public features. These include the prestigious Jay Pritzker Pavilion and dramatic BP Pedestrian Bridge, world-renowned Cloud Gate and Lurie Garden, iconic Crown Fountain, and exquisite Boeing Galleries for public art exhibitions. Through its ongoing development initiatives, the Millennium Park Foundation is dedicated to keeping Millennium Park a free, accessible and equitable venue for all Chicagoans today, and for generations to come.
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