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Downtown Christmas Tree Contenders Can Submit Applications Through Friday

 A lighted tree in the Loop.
A lighted tree in the Loop.
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DOWNTOWN — The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is now accepting applications for what could be the highest honor in a fir or spruce tree's life: being named Chicago's official 2014 holiday tree and sitting alight in Daley Plaza from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day.

In 1913, the city designated its first "official" Christmas tree and illuminated it with a ceremony. Last year, the tradition celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The 2013 tree donated by the Moore family in suburban South Holland checked all the boxes required for the city's most noticeable decoration: It was a 57-foot Colorado Spruce easily accessible for removal on the family's property.

Qualifying trees must be at least 55 feet tall and of the spruce or fir variety — pine trees aren't sturdy enough, according to the city.

Submissions must include three photos of the contender, and also can include a brief description and any relevant or interesting back story.

Tree nominations will be accepted through Friday via dcase@cityofchicago.org, by calling 312-744-3316 or by mail postmarked by Friday to Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, ATTN: Christmas Tree Submission, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602.

The individual or family whose tree is chosen gets the honor of flipping the light switch at the 101st Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in November.

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