CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’re heading downtown Friday for the lighting of the Christmas tree at Millennium Park, or to check out the first day of Christkindlmarket, be prepared to deal with extra security measures.
The tree lighting ceremony starts at 6 p.m.
Before then, the Millennium Park Ice Rink and Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon open for the season at noon. Christkindlmarket opens at Daley Plaza at 11 a.m.
All of these festive holiday events are sure to draw large crowds, which means security will be tight.
CPD Chief of Organized Crime Anthony Riccio said the department would have undercover officers at all large holiday events.
“We’re certainly aware of the market, and we’re going to have a lot of resources,” he said.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications said visitors should feel safe at the tree lighting ceremony, as they will be monitoring the event. The same goes for the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival on Saturday, and at Christkindlmarket, which runs through Christmas Eve.
On Thursday, the city placed concrete barricades and metal fences around the perimeter of Daley Plaza. Last year, the city even used salt trucks as barricades after the Berlin Christmas market attack, which left 12 dead and 56 wounded.
OEMC said anyone attending large holiday events downtown should be vigilant, and aware of their surroundings, and report any suspicious activity.