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Tree lighting Tuesday downtown

An Evanston tradition will play out again this week as Evanstonians gather to welcome the holiday season with the annual tree lighting in Fountain Square.

The Music Institute choir performing at last year’s tree lighting.

An Evanston tradition will play out again this week as Evanstonians gather to welcome the holiday season with the annual tree lighting in Fountain Square.

The Music Institute choir performing at last year’s tree lighting.

The celebration at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday will includes an outdoor performance of holiday carols by the Music Institute of Chicago Youth Choir and a visit from Santa Claus, accompanied by Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Rotary International’s Assistant General Secretary Kathy Kessenich, who’ll all arrive on an Evanston fire truck.

Downtown Evanston will continue a new tradition begun last year of making the tree lighting "green" with thousands of reusable LED lights decorating the tree donated by a local resident. Also green this year are LED “candles” which the Youth Choir will hold while they sing holiday carols.

Immediately following the ceremony is a festive warm-up reception with holiday goodies hosted by Rotary International in their café in One Rotary Center, at 1560 Sherman Avenue, down the block from Fountain Square.

In the spirit of holiday giving, healthful canned goods will be accepted for donation to Hilda’s Place, Evanston’s emergency housing and support services for the homeless. Hilda’s provides more than 12,600 nights of shelter and serves 20,000 meals per year to those in need.

Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the One Rotary Center Building garage, with entry on Grove Street just west of Sherman Avenue.

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