High wattage holiday de-lights at Morton Arboretum

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The Morton Arboretum is home to one of the Chicago area’s most interactive and vibrant holiday lights displays.

Illumination will to open to the public this week.

It takes a daily crew of 50 working several weeks to get the 1500 light fixtures in place for the brilliant show.

John Featherstone is the founder of Light Switch the company behind the arboretum’s very unique annual lights extravaganza.

“We do strive to help people see trees in a different light,” he said.  “It’s about the same size as a very big stadium rock show.  So if you went to see Taylor Swift at Soldier Field or Bon Jovi at the All State Arena, it’s that kind of scale of show.”

Music is just as much a star as the lights this year with everything from Big Band to EDM helping to bring the lights and the stories of the trees alive.

“We’re all about exploring the notion this year about choices and different perspectives,” Featherstone said. “There are a couple of points along the trail where guests can make a decision, ‘Do I want to turn left? Do I want to turn right?’ And have a different kind of experience.”

Also new this year is the “Crown of Light Experience” from California-based artist Hybycozo.

It will include a series of metallic tree-like sculptures designed to illuminate the nature around them and a visitor’s sense of man’s impact on the world..

Arborists and arboretum staff work with crews to ensure nature is undisturbed during installation. And with advances in technology, even the power to light the 1,000 trees along the illumination route is done green.

More than 600,000 visitors from around the world have come out to see “Illumination” in its previous five years.  They brave the cold to interact with the trees long after the fall color has gone.”

Illumination at Morton Arboretum 
Runs from Saturday, November 17 through Tuesday, January 1
Tickets: $13-$23



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