The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw is preparing to take 1,220 Christmas trees aboard in a yearly holiday season ritual.
It will happen Monday at the Mackinaw's home port of Cheboygan. The trees will be hauled to Chicago, where a public unloading ceremony will be held at Navy Pier.
The trees will be given to nonprofit organizations for delivery to deserving families.
It's a way to honor the Rouse Simmons, known as the original ``Christmas ship.'' The three-masted schooner delivered a large cargo of Christmas trees to Chicago every year until it sank in a Lake Michigan storm in November 1912.
The Coast Guard plans a wreath-laying ceremony near the shipwreck site.
The trip is also a mission to remove seasonal navigation aids from the lake.