CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s official Christmas tree is lighting up Daley Plaza after the official tree-lighting ceremony during the Tuesday evening rush hour.
Terri Moore’s loss is Chicago’s gain. The South Holland woman donated the 57-foot tall, 51-year-old, eight-ton blue spruce that her family named Lucy.
“We miss you,” she said with a wail and a laugh as her daughters Kirsten, 11, and Taylor, 8, looked on.
She said the decision to donate the three came only days before the deadline to submit a tree for consideration. She said as much as her family and neighbors loved the tree, it made it impossible to keep an eye on their children as they played outside their home.
Not everyone who saw Lucy appreciated it.
“It’s nice. It just looks like it needs water,” said Diane, who came from Michigan City for the ceremony.
Mayor Emanuel says whatever the perceived shortcomings, the addition of 51,000 LED lights and hundreds of ornaments render it moot.
“Look at it — how gorgeous she is,” Emanuel said from the podium.
It is the first appearance for the ornaments since the city scaled back from a tree that was a composite of many other trees to one towering evergreen, in an attempt to cut costs.
The Chicago Children’s Choir entertained the crowd, as well as the Joffrey Ballet, performers from “Elf the Musical” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.” The headliner was rock legend Darlene Love, who sang three Christmas classics, including her 1963 hit “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
Daley Plaza once again hosts the Christkindlmarket until Dec. 23. The tree will remain until the first week in January, and Moore said she and her daughters will visit Lucy often until then.
“What a great city to give it to because we could not decorate her,” Moore said. “She looks really adorable. I’m glad to see her with all the bulbs and ornaments and everything on her.”