From the archives: John Williams and The People’s Tree

WGN Archives

In 2009, John Williams learned that the City of Chicago was spending over $150,000 for the official city Christmas Tree at Daley Plaza. He thought he could do the same thing for less. Much less. Basically for free. And he did. Thanks to donations of a tree, equipment, lights, ornaments, and a lot of time and talent from many generous listeners and friends, John spearheaded an effort to bring a 25-foot tree from Morris, IL to Chicago’s Michigan Avenue where it was installed in Tribune Tower’s Nathan Hale Courtyard. There it was decorated and lit and spent the holiday season. In the video above, we see the first phases of the adventure, from the cutting down of the tree to the installation at the Tower.

Below, in the second video, we see the tree being decorated with ornaments sent in from listeners.

And, in part three, John Williams, Lou Manfredini, special guest Gov. Pat Quinn, and dozens of listeners light up an otherwise miserable, rainy night with the tree lighting ceremony.

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