WATCH: Palmer House continues 152-year-old Chicago tradition with tree lighting

Palmer House Christmas tree
For the 152nd time, the Palmer House lit up its iconic Christmas tree Monday. Photo credit AnnMarie Welser

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Palmer House, one of the most beautiful spots in downtown Chicago, flipped the switch on its famous Christmas tree Monday morning.

“We’ve been doing the tree lighting for 152 years here,” said Konstantine “Gus” Drosos, the general manager of the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. “It really signals the start of the season, the happy season.”

The Palmer House lobby was jam-packed for this year's lighting, and Judith Jude, from Minnesota, had a spot right in front of the tree.

“We’re getting the close up, and it’s a beautiful tree,” she said. “This will be our first lighting of the year.”

Angela Barry, who was in from the suburbs, said she was struck by the history of the space.

“This is somewhere where 100 years ago, people were,” Barry said. “The famous actors and actresses and singers and entertainers were all here.”

Emily Troemel simply came by to check out the hotel, where she’ll be staying when she gets married in Chicago.

“Honestly, lights are one of my favorite parts of Christmas time, there’s just a warmth that comes along with lights, being a part of such a dark time of the year,” she said. “I think it just reminds us that there’s life and beauty. A really sweet time of year.”

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Featured Image Photo Credit: AnnMarie Welser