The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw arrives at Chicago’s Navy Pier with more than 1,200 trees. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf)


Chicago’s Christmas Tree Ship will be coming into port this weekend, carrying 1,200 Christmas trees destined for families in need.


Photo courtesy of the Christmas Tree Ship (


About 16 years ago, crew aboard the US Coast Guard’s icebreaker Mackinaw, had the idea of re-enacting the voyage of Rouse Simmons – the original “Christmas Tree Ship” that would sail into Chicago with her cargo of trees, marking the beginning of the holiday season for more than 3 decades of Chicagoans in the early 1900’s.


Photo courtesy of the Christmas Tree Ship (


The now annual tradition sees today’s “Christmas Tree Ship” USCGC Mackinaw kick-starting the holiday season with over a thousand Christmas trees aboard that will be distributed to disadvantage families in the area.


Photo courtesy of the Christmas Tree Ship (


This year, she will sail into port Friday Dec. 4th, with the big community off-loading of trees taking place at 10 a.m. on Saturday December 5th.

Wouldn’t it be cool to do something like this here? What do you think NY/NJ-ers…?

Read more about the Christmas Tree Ship here…


by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee