CHICAGO (CBS) – The weather remains temperate, the streets and storefronts are still decorated with pumpkins, spiders and bats, and “Monster Mash” has yet to give way to “Sleigh Ride” and “Jingle Bell Rock” on the radio.
But it’s not too early to think about Christmas trees, particularly since the City of Chicago is giving you an opportunity to vote on the tree that will grace Daley Plaza this year.
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The city has narrowed the contest down to three candidate trees. They are a 55-foot blue spruce from the Spangler family of Western Springs, a 56-foot blue spruce from the Smith family of Willowbrook, and a 70-foot blue spruce from the Colomer family of McHenry:
“The Holiday Season is about families coming together.” Mayor Richard M. Daley said in a city news release. “It’s a wonderful thing to see Chicagoland collectively choosing the City’s Official Christmas Tree, much like we all do with our own families.”
More than 70 trees from Chicago, elsewhere in Illinois, and Indiana were submitted for the city’s consideration. The requirements were that the tree be a spruce or fir at least 55 feet tall, accessible to insure safe removal, and no more than 100 miles from downtown Chicago.
A single tree was also used in Daley Plaza last year, but in years before that going back more than half a century, the city erected an 85-foot conical tree composed of scores of smaller trees. The tree the year before last was made up of 113 smaller trees.
But a 2008 report by CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reported showed the city paid more than $300,000 for city workers to build the frame, decorate the tree, and dismantle it over the course of six weeks.
Following Zekman’s report, the city decided to scrap the compound tree for a single one.
You can vote for this year’s tree through Sunday, Oct. 24. The winner will be announced the week of Monday, Oct. 25.