By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — There is less than a week until Thanksgiving, but Chicago was already focused about Christmas with lots of holiday traditions kicking off Friday – most notably the city’s tree lighting.

Crowds gathered in Millennium Park to watch the 51-foot blue spruce from Logan Square spring to its fully-lit splendor.

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This year’s event expended throughout the entire park, with a main stage in the great lawn.

The Christmas tree lighting was followed by fireworks and many performances – including acts by Cirque du Soleil performers, and carols by R&B singer Brian McKnight.

People came from all over the Chicago area to be part of the festivities.

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There was also an art market, a café, and more to do – with activities spread out all over the park.

Meanwhile nearby, people also strapped on pairs of skates and head to the Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon. It’s now open.

In partnership with Immersive Van Gogh Chicago – the ice will feature designs inspired by Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and “Sunflowers.”

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The Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon will be open through March 13 – but you do need to make reservations to get on the ice.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff