Annual Chicago tree lighting ceremony goes virtual amid pandemic

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CHICAGO – The annual tree lighting ceremony in Millennium Park was forced to be held virtually Thursday due to the pandemic.

In years past, restaurants would be booming as Chicagoans got closer to the holidays. Instead, residents took to their computers and tablets to watch the annual tradition.

“Usually it’s a big part of everybody in Chicago right. A lot of people like to, said Jose Jaime. “Go downtown and see the lights and all that stuff. It’s a festive time for everyone. Now no one has that.”

Jaime owns Jiao and said they barely had any customers.

“Last year, we had busters and this place was actually full,” he said. “This year, we don’t have anyone since the quarantine and all this stuff.”

Some residents came down to Millennium Park, but it didn’t feel quite the same.

“Naturally, it’s a little strange not to see so many people,” said Debbie Thompson. “But I think going down Michigan Avenue and seen the lights up, it gives us a lot of hope.”

Some restaurant do not know if their business with survive the pandemic.

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