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Rockefeller Tree Lighting: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

New York City Manhattan | Festivals & Annual Events , Sights & Attractions

  Nov. 16, 2018, 6:21 a.m. | By: Debra Venneri

Of all the holidays in New York, the most famous tradition is the Rockefeller Tree lighting. This lighting of the tree is the iconic event and a symbol of the holidays - not just in New York but a world wide symbol - that starts the Christmas Season. The first tree in December of 1931 during the depression was a 20 foot tall balsam fir, purchased by demolition workers at the Rockefeller Center construction site who pooled their money together. The tree was decorated with paper garland, strings of cranberries and some say even tin cans. In 1933 Rockefeller Plaza was opened and the first official Christmas tree lighting took place.

This year’s tree is a beautiful Norway spruce that is 72 feet tall tree and from Wallkill, New York.  The tree is donated by Shirley Figueroa and Lissette Gutierrez from their property purchased in 2017. The tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday November 28 with 50,000 LED lights and the 900 pound three-dimensional star sparkling with its three million beautiful Swarovski crystals will be sure to light up the skies.

The 86th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting is free and open to the public and starts at 7 pm at Rockefeller Plaza between West 48th and West 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. If you can’t make it to the two hour event, live performances and all, can be seen on NBC from 8-10 PM.  The tree will remain lit until January 7th, 2019.  After the holidays, the tree lives on used in Habitat for Humanity homes.

Thank you to Shirley and Lissette for their generous gift for us all to enjoy!


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