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Daley Plaza to have one tree for holidays

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

A suburban family is donating a single tree to the city of Chicago to celebrate the holiday season at Daley Plaza.

Usually, the Daley Plaza tree is made up of several smaller trees that are put together to create one large tree.

This year, however, the city is going to use a 56-foot tree donated by a Palos Heights family. It will save the city money.

For the first time since 1955, the Christmas tree in Daley Plaza will be just one individual tree instead of an assortment of more than 100 trees. The city actually got the idea of a large single tree from New York City's Rockefeller Center.

The tree is being donated by the Weivoda family of Palos Heights who contacted the city about their tree via e-mail. When the word came that the city had chosen their tree, the Weivodas were thrilled.

The tree is already wrapped and will be cut down Thursday. The tree will then be transported into the city, but there is a problem unique to Chicago in getting the blue spruce to Daley Plaza - the height of the El tracks. The city specifically chose a tree that could fit under the El that surrounds the Loop.

The city will save a lot of money by using just one tree, and any work done by city employees will reportedly not be overtime.

In previous years, the official tree lighting took place after Thanksgiving. But this year the lighting ceremony is scheduled for the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, with Bonni Hunt as the celebrity host.

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