(CBS) — Chicago’s 104th official tree-lighting ceremony Friday evening may go down as one of the shortest. Those who tried to wait out the rain found themselves soaked to the bone.

Heavy thunderstorms prompted officials to clear Millennium Park near the tree about 30 minutes before the scheduled 6 p.m. start, urging those who had come to watch the ceremony to seek shelter across Michigan Avenue in the Cultural Center.

When they emerged, the break in the rain was momentary and the entire ceremony was compressed into two minutes, including the countdown, the fireworks and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s greeting.

Scheduled caroling by two choirs and a country music trio was cancelled.

As one person put it, “At least it wasn’t a blizzard.

The tree, illuminated with 50,000 LED lights, will remain lit until Jan. 6.

The 62-foot-tall Norway spruce was donated by Darlene Dorfler of Grayslake, who was on hand for the ceremony with other family members.

 

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