Holiday fun comes to Chicago; Skating ribbon, Christkindlmarket open

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The sounds and sights of the holiday season are everywhere in Chicago, and much of the winter fun the city has to offer opened Friday.

Rick Lewis and his wife Donna took in the Macy's holiday window decorations on State Street Friday afternoon. They're in town to spend time with their 3-year-old grandchild.

"It gets us in the spirit coming here, it's colder. We never walk in St. Louis so this is cool," Donna said.

The city is awash with the holidays. Preparations are nearly complete for this year's Mag Mile Lights Festival, which steps off Saturday.

The Millennium Park Art Market also opened Friday. It features works by local high school and college students for those looking to get an early start to their holiday gift shopping.

"It's a really good jump on a gift, we had, like, really nice ceramics, prints, everything everyone would love," said student artist Deja Moton.

RELATED: Christkindlmarket 2018 mug, opening dates revealed

Not to be outdone, the Morton Arboretum's Illumination signaled the kickoff of the tree of lights in the suburbs.

The 105th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree lighting will be held in Millennium Park Friday. The program starts at 6 p.m. and the lighting will happened sometime between 6:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza and the Skating Ribbon in Maggie Daley Park also opened Friday.

RELATED: Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon opens Nov. 16

"Every time skate season starts I get in the mood for Christmas and all, plus my birthday's a few days from Christmas, so I'm just happy," said Giovonni Hollingworth.

But amid the joyous images of the season, a rolling art installation of a bullet-riddled car served as a sobering reminder of the toll of gun violence in Chicago.

"This is the true reality," said Robert Torres, Parents for Peace and Justice. "It can't be sugarcoated when mothers are losing their children and they're dying. These mothers won't have their children for the holiday."
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