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MAGICAL TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY RAISES $24,000 FOR MAKE-A-WISH

December 22, 2022

Chicago, Dec. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WHAT: The 900 North Michigan Shops transformed its atrium into a winter wonderland, as it hosted its fifth annual, tree lighting ceremony known as, “Illuminate 900” on Thurs, Nov. 17th.  The event was an arts-forward, community-wide kick off to the holiday season, and delivered a most magical celebration for all 2,000+ guests in attendance.  The storybook tree lighting, complete with real-life toy soldiers, holiday performances, caroling kiddies, festive food and drink, and other seasonal surprises, signified the start of the holiday season for the iconic shopping center. In addition to being a citywide celebration, Illuminate 900 is also a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Each year a Make-A-Wish child is selected to accompany Santa as he lights the 54’ tall tree. This year, 900 North Michigan Shops raised $24,000 for the wish-granting organization.   A robust line up of holiday performances enchanted guests throughout the evening. The highlight being Santa’s arrival to light the 50ft tall tree, which was heralded by the joyous clanging of silver bells. With the Make-A-Wish child by his side, Santa led the countdown to shine the first holiday lights on Michigan Avenue. As soon as the majestic tree was illuminated, amidst a chorus of, “oohs”, and “ahhs”, a troupe of dancers from Forward Momentum brought the house down with a thrilling routine performed to the holiday favorite, “All I Want for Christmas is You, “ by Mariah Carey.     ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- VISUALS: High- res images and videos of the magical event available here: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Upon arrival to 900 North Michigan Shops, guests were transported to a winter wonderland, brought to life by lush, holiday décor from Kehoe Designs. The luxe and magical evening was further enhanced by: 900 North Michigan Shops – The iconic shopping center turned itself into a winter wonderland, with whimsical forest-inspired decor. Holiday garland flanked the atrium where the storybook, 54ft tall tree held court, while digital canopies overhead projected custom, dynamic holiday content. Ballet Chicago – Chicago-based ballet company, Ballet Chicago, brought a multitude of costumed dancers to perform excerpts from the fabled holiday classic, “The Nutcracker”.The Real Elf – A life-like replica of the famous elf who watches from the shelf was on hand, delighting all as he walked about with a custom picture frame, inviting folks to, “Take an Elfie”.                               Beatmix – Provided drummers with illuminated drums to perform a compelling rendition of, “Little Drummer Boy”, as well as a saxophonist to perform a holiday solo.Eddy Galstad  – Professionally-trained opera singer, Eddy Galstad dressed in a custom gown, fantastical crown of glistening icicles, and life-size angel wings beguiled guests with a seasonal serenade of, "Carol of the Bells", as the Angel of Peace.Zzazz Productions – Provided a chorus line of dancing women in red velvet, white-fur trimmed costumes, with oversized candy canes in hand – ala the Rockettes.  Male models dressed as toy soldiers playfully greeted guests upon arrival, and escorted Santa to light the treeNew Music School –The on-premise music school featured their talented vocalist, Shayan to perform a contemporary holiday tuneBubbles Academy – The arts-focused, early education program offered a children’s, ornament-making workshop.Sur La Table – The purveyor of cooking and entertaining products delighted children and parents alike with sugar cookie decorating. Aster Hall – 900 Shops’ chef-driven food hall provided passed hors d’oeuvres and seasonal cocktails throughout the evening.Kehoe Designs – The award-winning event decor company transformed 900 Shops into a winter wonderland with luxe, seasonal décor.BlackOak Technical Productions – Provided technical production to create a fully immersive, holiday experience. “Illuminate 900 has always been our Holiday Love letter to Chicago and its visitors”, said Alicia Skruba, Marketing & Business Development Manager, 900 North Michigan Shops. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be able to create a moment in time where folks come together to be reminded of the magic and wonder of the holidays. And no better partner than Make-A-Wish Illinois, as they share their own kind of healing magic throughout the year”. WHO: 900 North Michigan Shops, in support of Make-A-Wish Illinois. www.shop900.com  WHERE: Activations for young and old happened on all levels of the multilevel shopping center.  WHEN: Thursday, November 17th, 2022 – from 6PM-8PM. About 900 North Michigan Shops An iconic anchor of the Magnificent Mile and Gold Coast, 900 North Michigan Shops is an architecturally stunning 465,000-square-foot, seven-level experiential retail destination in the heart of Chicago. The property recently underwent a multi-phase renovation to enhance the sophisticated consumer-driven shopping center. Anchored by Bloomingdale’s, 900 North Michigan Shops features more than 70 luxe retailers including a two-level Gucci, MaxMara, Montblanc, Tesla, BONOBOS, and Aritzia. A 22,000-square-foot, chef-driven food hall, Aster Hall, offers guests a variety of dining options and handcrafted cocktails. And Topgolf Swing Suite offer guests simulated sports gaming experiences, as well as fresh fare and full bar service. 900 North Michigan Shops is owned by an affiliate of JMB Realty Corporation. 
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The magical reception for the Make-A-Wish child upon entering 900 North Michigan Shops' tree lighting, "Illuminate 900."

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