DOWNTOWN — For the 106th time, 'tis the season at Macy's State Street.
Hundreds of people thronged the store's Walnut Room restaurant as the 45-foot Great Tree was illuminated with Christmas lights, an event that for some signals the start of Chicago's holiday season.
"It's a great event. I come here every year," said Sheifuana Greer, a River North resident. "It kicks off the holidays. It's not Christmas in Chicago without it."
Among those on hand to light up the tree were entertainer Nick Cannon, Gov. Pat Quinn, former American Idol contestant Lauren Alaina and Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren.
Outside of the store, several shoppers and passersby also gawked at the holiday-themed window displays, which are themed to reveal "The Magic of Christmas," and the role Macy's State Street, previously Marshall Field's, plays in Chicago during the holiday season.
Mary Delgado of Uptown looked into one display featuring a girl riding a reindeer with grandchildren Lluvia, 10, and Soli, 7. She noted the displays were imaginative, leading her grandchildren to use a little imagination of their own.
"I said she was the one on the reindeer," Mary Delgado said pointing out that her granddaughter was wearing a similar colored coat. "She said she wanted to be the reindeer."