The iconic Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony sparks the Holiday Season for the 85th year. This year’s tree stems from Pennsylvania — a Norway spruce — 75 feet tall, weighing 22,000 pounds. Nearly 50,000 multi-colored LED lights adorn the giant spruce. As in years past, the nationally televised musical extravaganza begins at 6:30PM ET with the tree lighting at 9:00PM ET.
Tonight’s Tree Lighting Ceremony will be televised live by NBC and feature performances by Brett Eldredge, Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix, Train, Harry Connick Jr., and the Radio City Rockettes. New York City’s Mayor De Blasio will hit the switch to light the towering tree at 9:00PM ET.T
In what is turning out to be an unseasonably warm day, thousands of tourists, locals and holiday merry makers are expected to crowd Midtown Manhattan for the annual Ceremony. Security will be extra tight with New York taking no chances after the Halloween incident.
Environmental Responsibility: Share A Tree
Once the holiday season ends, The Rockefeller Christmas Tree will donated to Habitat for Humanity for the 11th year in a row. The tree comes down on January 7th, 2018 and is milled, treated and made into lumber that is used for home building wood.
NBCUniversal has partnered with The Arbor Day Foundation to plant 25,000 trees in hurricane-devastated areas. This is part of The Arbor Day Foundation’s larger initiative to plant and distribute 5 million trees over the next five years. Use the hashtag #ShareATree to help NBCUniversal and the Arbor Day Foundation.
HOLIDAY TRADITION BEGAN in 1931
The holiday tradition began in 1931 with a simple 20 foot high Balsam Fir Tree.
“In December, 1931, demolition workers at the Rockefeller Center construction site pooled their money together to buy a Christmas tree. The 20-foot high balsam fir was decorated with handmade garlands by the men’s families. This photo, taken on Christmas Eve, shows the men lined up to receive their wages.” — Rockefeller Center Holiday Tree Lighting Website
Rockefeller Center’s Holiday Lighting is not the only attraction in Midtown. The fences are up along Fifth Avenue for another legendary Holiday Tradition — The Saks Fifth Avenue Holiday Windows. This year’s theme is devoted to the beloved Disney story of Snow White.