Discover Chicago’s Christmas Tree Ship

March 18, 2016
If you have a Chicago Exotic car rental this December, venture to the docks to enjoy Chicago’s Christmas tree ship. This wonderful not for profit event is a beautiful display of the love and care a community can express towards those less fortunate members. Since 2000, the Christmas tree ship has been bringing Christmas trees to the deserving, less fortunate, and disadvantaged families throughout Chicago so that they too can have the magical atmosphere of Christmas spirit. Knowing that not every family can afford a tree to decorate their home, this not for profit, all volunteer organization brought over twelve thousand Christmas trees to less fortunate families in the first decade it ran. This service distributes Christmas trees to over a thousand deserving families in Chicago, thanks to the Ada S. McKinley Community Services. They hope to distribute 1,200 trees annually.  


The original Christmas tree ship brought trees for over thirty years to Chicago at the beginning of every Christmas season. Called the Rouse Simmons, this three-masted schooner would arrive with a Christmas tree tied to the main mast and thousands more trees packing its decks until it sank in 1912. In 2000, a group of mariners began the reenactment of the Christmas tree ship on the US Coast Guard’s icebreaker Mackinaw. Their mission was to donate the trees, rather than sell them as the Rouse Simmons had. The current ship is a US Coast Guard cutter called the Alder. The trees are unloaded by local youth Sea Cadets, Sea Scouts, and Young Marines. It certainly is worth a trip in your Chicago Exotic car rental to see this wonderful example of community.  

Modern Program

The ship arrives the morning of every first Friday of December. Throughout the day, the ship is decorated for Christmas. With lights and trees, the ship is a sight to see from your Chicago Exotic car rental. The main event, in which the tree off-loading occurs, takes place that Saturday. This is a day in which public tours are given of the Christmas Tree ship from 1:30 pm until 5:30 pm. As this only happens once a year, be sure to pop by while in driving through in your Chicago Exotic car rental. The main event involves discussion of the history of the Rouse Simmons as well as other maritime history, so that the community has a better understanding of why this special service came about. Chicago’s Christmas tree ship serves to educate, as well as to aid less fortunate families. Educational programs are held aboard the Alder as well as at Navy Pier for local Chicago schools. This program explains the role of the Coast Guard and the tradition of the Christmas Tree Ship to over 300 children. The program also includes a Sea Partners ecology presentation and a tour of the Alder by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Through knowledge, this generous organization may continue to encourage other members of Chicago’s community to devote time toward helping the less fortunate. Driving by in your Chicago Exotic car rental, you would see these students venturing through history in a symbol of community love.   From Chicago’s Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit, to the Christmas Tree Ship, it’s obvious that the Windy City is a place of compassionate community that works to bring pleasure to every member around the holidays. You are guaranteed to feel the Holiday Spirit when driving through in your Chicago Exotic car rental. For more information about how you can reserve your Chicago Exotic car rental today, or for more blogs like these, check out our news section.

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