11/20/2012 02:32 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2012

Chicago Tree-Lighting Ceremony 2012: Daley Plaza Gets Spruce, Christkindlmarket Opens (VIDEO)

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Downtown Chicago has a bi of a new shimmer to it now that the switch was flipped on a 64-foot-tall Colorado Spruce in Daley Plaza Tuesday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand to light up the city's 2012 holiday tree's 15,000 lights at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the RedEye reports.

The winning Prospect Heights, Ill. tree was chosen earlier this year by the city after voters weighed in on the finalists online. The tree was donated by Barbara Theiszmann and uprooted from her front yard on Nov. 1, according to Journal & Topics.

"We're looking forward to see it downtown, how it looks," Theiszmann told NBC Chicago earlier this month. "It looked tall over here, and down there it's going to look short with all the tall buildings."

The city's 99th annual tree-lighting ceremony began at 4:30 p.m. with a performance from the Goodman Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" cast members and an appearance by -- who else? -- Santa. It marked the fourth straight year the city will use a single tree rather than a series of smaller trees combined together, according to CBS Chicago, and this year's 12,000 pound tree is a full nine inches taller than last year's winning tree, another Colorado Spruce, from Western Springs.

(Need help getting in the holiday mood? Check out photos of holiday scenes in Chicago below.)

In other holiday news, the city's Christkindlmarket opened Tuesday at Daley Plaza at 11 a.m. The city's Thanksgiving Parade, featuring CM Punk as grand marshal, will begin its trot down State Street at 8 a.m. Thursday.



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