By Eric Cox

CHICAGO (CBS)– Chicago is set to celebrate the start of the holiday Friday.

The city is just hours away from the traditional tree lighting ceremony. It’s been a Chicago tradition since 1913.

The tree, a 55-foot blue spruce from Elgin, will be adorned by nearly 55,000 lights.

The tree lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Friday and will feature musical performances and even a few special guests.

Guests can visit Millennium Park for the ceremony and skate on the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, also in the park.

The event is free to all guests.

Trees will also be lit at Wrigley Square, Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street.

On Saturday, the BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade will kick off at 5:30 p.m. from Oak and Rush streets down Michigan Avenue.

Eric Cox