What's New In New York State!
Home > Articles > Rockefeller Tree Lighting: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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 77 feet tall tree and from Florida, New York.  The tree is donated by Carol Schultz who planted the tree in 1959 after using the sapling as her own Christmas tree. The tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday December 4th with 50,000 LED lights and the 900 pound three-dimensional star sparkling with its three million beautiful Swarovski crystals.

The 87th 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 and is broadcast on NBC.  The tree will sparkle until January 17th, 2020 and then taken down and donated to Habitat for Humanity for use as lumber. 

Thank you to Carol for her generous gift for us all to enjoy!


Check out the New York State Tourism Directory

Related Posts:


  Leave a Reply