Rockefeller tree lighting 2019

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Architect Daniel Libeskind has used three million crystals to cover the Swarovski Star, which will top the Christmas tree at New York’s Rockefeller Center this year.

The Polish-American architect designed the star to top the iconic tree, erected in the plaza at the Midtown Manhattan complex for the holiday season.

Weighing 90 pounds (40.8 kilograms), the design comprises 70 spiky light bulbs that radiate in different directions. A total of three million Swarovski crystals line the prongs so that they sparkle when the star is switched on.

The main light source is held within a metallic circular volume in the middle of the star. The spikes are screwed onto this base to line up with individual bulbs.

“The design of the actual star is complex,” said Libeskind in a short film about the Swarovski Star. “It’s a very complex object with 70 spikes, with a core that is just like a core of a star to support the radiating light of the star.”

Libeskind’s crystal design was installed earlier this week on the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which has been erected in the plaza at the art-deco complex since 1931. The official tree-lighting ceremony will take place 28 November 2018.

The new Swarovski Star replaces the decoration that has topped the tree since 2004, at the beginning of the partnership between Austrian crystal brand Swarovski and Rockefeller Center co-owner, developer Tishman Speyer.

A replica of the Libeskind’s design will also be positioned on the ground beside a small Swarovski pop-up at Rockefeller Plaza.

Also designed by Libeskind, the 200-square-foot (18.5-square-metre) temporary shop will have a faceted form. Swarovski jewellery, ornaments and gifts will be available to purchase, as well as a new range that Libeskind has created for Atelier Swarovski Home.

The architect has previously created a chess set for Swarovksi with pieces based on his building designs, including the original Freedom Tower intended for the Ground Zero masterplan, which Libeskind also completed.

Orange County tree star of tonight’s Rockefeller Center lighting ceremony

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will officially brighten the holiday season tonight during the 87th annual tree-lighting ceremony in Manhattan.

Looking to ring in the season with special performances and holiday magic? Here’s what you need to know before you go — or tune in.

Orange County tree is star of the show

The 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree hails from the Village of Florida in Orange County. Standing at 77 feet tall, the Norway Spruce is 46 feet in diameter and weighs 14 tons.

It was donated by Carol Schultz.

The tree will be covered in 50,000 energy efficient LED lights and is topped with a Swarovski crystal star that will shine throughout the holiday season. The tree is on display daily from 6 a.m. to midnight and on Christmas Day will shine for a full 24 hours.

The tree was cut down on Nov. 7 at Schultz’s Cedar Street home and arrived at Rockefeller Center on Nov. 9 where it will remain until Jan. 17.

For the 13th year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will be donated to Habitat For Humanity where it will be used as lumber for building houses.

Can I go?

The tree lighting is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s best to get there as early as possible.

The tree is located in Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza and can be viewed from West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and 6th Avenues. The tree will remain lit and on display through Friday, Jan. 17.

Where can I watch it?

Can’t head down to Manhattan for the occasion? The tree-lighting ceremony will be broadcast on NBC from 8 to 10 p.m.

The evening’s celebration is hosted by the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin. A preview show hosted by Mario Lopez begins at 7 p.m.

Who’s performing?

This year’s celebration includes vocalists and groups spanning all different genres.

Topping the list are John Legend, Idina Menzel, and Lea Michele, all of whom have released holiday albums this year, Derek and Julianne Hough, who are set to star in their own NBC Special “Holidays with the Houghs,” contemporary R&B singer NE-YO, pop star Gwen Stefani, country artist Brett Eldredge, rock group Chicago, a cappella group Straight No Chaser, and Skylar Astin and Alex Newell who star in NBC’s “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.”

More information

For more info on Rockefeller Center’s holiday attractions go to www.rockefellercenter.com

What happens to the Rockefeller Center tree after Christmas?

Trees are donated to Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the needy.

The most wonderful time of the year is nearly here, which means starry-eyed visitors and jaded New Yorkers alike will soon be flocking to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

This year’s fir — a massive Norway spruce from the village of Florida, N.Y. — is 77 feet tall, weighs roughly 12 tons, or about 24,000 pounds, and will soon sparkle with more than 50,000 lights. The evergreen was officially lifted into place on Saturday, in the heart of the Big Apple. Its farmer, Carol Schultz, said she always knew her spruce was special.

Schultz bought the sapling in 1959, planted it in her front yard after the Christmas season and watched it grow and grow and grow, according to The Associated Press.

Carol Schultz hugged the trunk of a 77-foot tall Norway Spruce that she donated to serve as this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer)

“I always said, ‘You’re going to be up in Rockefeller Center some day and you’re going to be a beautiful tree when you get older,'” Schultz told Today of the big honor. “When I see the tree lit up, I’m probably going to cry.”

In 2010, Schultz and her companion, Richard O’Donnell, entered their tree into Rockefeller Center’s selection pool. Earlier this year, they learned their fir made the (literal) cut.

The tree was chopped down on Thursday, lifted by a crane onto a flatbed, and driven into Manhattan in high style.

Carol Schultz, center, donor of this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, poses with her family in front of her 77-foot tall Norway Spruce she donated to serve as the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. (Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer)

After being lit during the all-important 87th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on Dec. 4, it will welcome the masses until Jan. 17 of the New Year.

But ahead of the festivities, grab a cup of cocoa and brush up on these 12 little-known facts about America’s most famous Christmas tree.

1. Recruitment takes a year

“It’s an all-year process, where I’m constantly looking for trees to put on the list. I go around and visit prospective trees,” Rockefeller Center’s head gardener Erik Pauze told AM New York in 2018. “If you get a tree that’s halfway decent looking, and you go visit it and it looks good in the picture but you get up close, and it’s not, then you go around that area, because maybe the climate and the weather isn’t too bad, so there may be another good one there.”

Though finding the right fir is serious business, Pauze trusts his instincts

“Sometimes I visit a tree several times over the year, watch it grow or fill out. But when I see the perfect one, I just know it,” he told NYC Go.

The 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a 77-foot tall, 12-ton Norway Spruce, was prepared for a platform at Rockefeller Center. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

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2. It’s usually a Norway spruce

Aspiring trees have to fill quite a few requirements in order to have a shot at being selected.

The chosen tree is often a “nicely shaped” Norway spruce, usually at least 75 feet tall and dense enough that you “shouldn’t be able to see the sky through it,” Pauze told NYC Go, explaining that certain trees have more of a presence in Rockefeller Center.

Though it’s typically sourced from the tri-state area, the tree has occasionally traveled great distances to the heart of Manhattan. The 1966 tree was from Canada, and the 1998 tree came from Ohio, AM NY reported.

3. The tree is donated

The 2016 Christmas tree stood lit up after the lighting ceremony for the 84th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. (Reuters)

Surprisingly, Rockefeller Center doesn’t pay a dime for the timber — it is traditionally donated by its owners.

Nevertheless, Tishman Speyer Properties — Rock Center’s owner — pays to transport it to New York City, according to AM NY.

The tree is often brought in during the night, when the streets are less crowded.

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4. The tradition began with a sentimental start

According to Mental Floss, the Rockefeller Tree tradition began with a sentimental start in 1931, in the thick of the Great Depression.

“The Depression-era workmen building were so grateful to have jobs that they decorated a spruce tree with strings of cranberries, paper garlands and a few tin cans,” the outlet said of the tree’s origin story. “On Dec. 24, they lined up beneath the tree and received a small Christmas miracle: paychecks.”

Two years later, in 1933, the first official Rockefeller Center holiday tree welcomed the masses.

The 80th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was raised in New York’s Rockefeller Center in 2012. The 80-foot Norway spruce, donated by Joseph Balku of Flanders, N.J., was strung with 30,000 multi-colored LEDs on 5 miles of wire, and topped with a Swarovski Crystal Star. (AP)

5. The tree was once silver

In 1949, the annual Rockefeller Tree was not a traditional green hue but was instead painted silver to mimic snow, per AM NY.

6. The 900-pound topper is made of Swarovski crystals

A glitzy 900-pound star that sparkles with 3 million Swarovski crystals made its debut at the top of the famous fir in 2018, the New York Post reported.

The giant bauble, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, features 70 glass spikes and a brightness of 106,000 lumens, according to Quartzy.

Libeskind is known for his work with museums across the globe, as well as his vision for the redesign of the World Trade Center.

The 85th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony was on Nov. 29, 2017. (AP)

7. It has to be camera-ready

No “bad side” here. Pauze says the tree has “got to look good” not only to dazzle visitors, but on television, as well.

“It’s got to look good from all sides, because it’s viewed from all the angles, like the Fifth Avenue side or when people come around the corner from Radio City Music Hall or when people come out of the subway,” he said. “It’s constantly on TV so it’s got to look good.”

8. Visitors come out in droves

Approximately 800,000 people are expected to visit the tree every day through the holiday season this year, according to Today.

9. Of course, daredevils have tried to climb it

Though various adventurers have (unsuccessfully) attempted to summit the gigantic tree over the years, one 27-year-old man got all the way to the top in 1979.

Upon arriving at the top, he screamed “Free the 50” in reference to the Americans who were imprisoned at the U.S. embassy in Iran at the time, according to Mental Floss.

Law enforcement officials tactfully talked him down, explaining that his stunt would not help release the captives.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in 2015. (AP)

10. The evergreen has gotten greener

Since 2007, the tree has gotten greener, with solar panels powering many of the fir’s lights, Mental Floss reported.

11. Those who donate the tree become VIP

” get invited down after we cut the tree down, and they come down when we put it up, and they get to hang around that day,” Pauze told AM NY of the chosen ones who win status as lighting ceremony VIPs. “When we light it up, they hang around and get to enjoy the festivities.”

12. It’s truly a ‘giving tree’

After its run at the plaza, the tree is milled into lumber and donated to help build homes through Habitat for Humanity.

“We take it down, get it out of the plaza, and get it to a place in New Jersey,” Pauze told AM NY. “We mill it, then get it down to what’s usable and kiln-dry it. You’re not going to be able to build an entire house, but you’ll get a couple of window or door frames. It’s a pretty cool piece to have in your house.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Drumroll, Please … Your 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Has Been Chosen

What to Know

  • This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a Norway spruce from the village of Florida in Orange County, New York
  • It’ll be cut down on Thursday, Nov. 7, arrive in the Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 9, and be illuminated on live TV in a special on Weds, Dec. 4
  • The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up in 1931 by workers building the complex during the Great Depression

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been chosen.
The Norway spruce, which will be the 88th tree to grace the Plaza for the annual weeks-long display, will come from the village of Florida in New York’s Orange County, Rockefeller Center announced on Instagram Monday.
Details on the tree’s height and owners weren’t immediately released. It will be cut down on Thursday, Nov. 7, and arrive at Rockefeller Center on Saturday, Nov. 9. After being adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored lights and crowned with the iconic Swarovski star, the tree will be illuminated for the first time during a live television broadcast on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

It’ll be on display until Friday, Jan. 14, 2020.

Last year’s tree was a 72-foot, 12-ton Norway spruce from Shirley Figueroa and Lissette Gutierrez in Wallkill.

The first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was put up in 1931 by workers building the complex during the Great Depression. The first official tree lighting there was in 1933.

What to know about Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

New York City is about to get lit, literally, as the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony is this week. This year marks the 87th year of the annual holiday celebration.

New York City’s famous Rockefeller Tree is scheduled to be illuminated on Wednesday. If you’re hoping to see the tree lighting be prepared this year, there will be some security restrictions and street closures. Also, prepare for the bitter cold.

NBC reports that spectators will have to pass through a security screening. It was reported that umbrellas, backpacks, large bags, coolers and alcoholic beverages are not allowed at the lighting.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting.

Image credit: Getty

When does the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting occur?

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting occurs on Dec. 4 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where did the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree come from?

This year’s tree is a 77-foot tall Norway Spruce, which came from Florida, New York. Florida, New York is about an hour and a half outside of midtown.

The tree is 60 years old and weighs 14 tons. It was donated by Carol Schultz. It will be wrapped in five miles of rainbow lights and topped with a 900-pound star, made from Swarovski crystals.

Where can I watch the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting?

To watch the lighting, check out NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” which will be on air from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday. You can also stream the famous event by checking out nbcnewyork.com/live.

Who is performing during the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting?

During the tree lighting event, you will see performances from a slew of celebs, including: John Legend, Derek & Julianne Hough, Brett Eldredge, Idina Menzel, Gwen Stefani, Lea Michele, Chicago, Ne-Yo, Straight No Chaser, Skylar Astin, and Alex Newell.

When will the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree be illuminated?

During Christmas Day, the tree will be lit for 24 hours.

After the tree is taken down on Jan. 7, it will be used as lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

What streets will be closed for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting?

According to the NYC Department of Transportation, the following roads will be closed to celebrate the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting:

• 5th Avenue between 46th Street and 52nd Street

• 6th Avenue between 46th Street and 52nd Street

• 46th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• 47th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• 48th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• 49th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• 50th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• 51st Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• 52nd Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• Rockefeller Plaza between 48th Street and 51st Street

For updated information, check out nyc.gov.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting 2019

This post provides you with information on how to attend the annual lighting ceremony of the gigantic Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center on December 4, 2019, as well as viewing the tree throughout the holiday season.

  • How to Get Here
  • The Lighting Ceremony
  • Best Viewing Spots
  • Christmas in NYC
  • Guide to Rockefeller Center
  • Things to Do in NYC

HOW TO GET HERE

The tree is located in the middle of the Rockefeller Center complex between West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Regardless of how you choose to arrive, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions to the tree.

For information on the best spot to take that perfect picture, see our tips section below.

How to Get Here?

By subway:

  • B, D, F and M trains to the 47-50th Street Rockefeller Center stop.
  • 1 Train to the 50th Street stop and walk along 50th Street in the direction of the cars to Rockefeller Center between 5th and 6th Aves.
  • N, Q, or R trains to the 49th Street stop and walk along 49th Street against the traffic to Rockefeller Center between 5th and 6th Aves.
  • E or M to the 5th Avenue/53rd Street stop and walk south on 5th Avenue in the direction of the cars.
  • 6 train to 51 Street Station and walk in direction of cars until 5th Avenue and make a left turn onto 5th Avenue. Walk one block down.

By bus:

  • Take the M1, M2, M3, M4 or M5 bus to 50th Street. Buses run north and south.

If you are new to the subway system our posts may be of some use to you: Navigating the New York Subway and Which New York City Subway MetroCard to Buy?

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THE LIGHTING CEREMONY

Although the tree is erected in mid-November, the lighting ceremony does not take place until Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at 7 pm. The lights are switched on at 9 pm.

Starting at 7 pm, there are live performances by top singers and bands, as well as the Radio City Rockettes.

Performers for 2019 have yet to be announced, and we will update this post once they are.

In past years, performers included Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, Sarah McLachlan, Dolly Parton, Jordan Smith, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and more!

We recommend that you arrive by 3 pm, and absolutely no later than 4 pm, though going early is even better since the event is always very crowded.

See below for our tips on where to stand to have a view of the tree and the live performances.

Seeing the tree at other times

You can see the tree on other nights at Rockefeller Center until the first week of January, 2020, at 9 pm. Note that the lights are only on from 5:30 pm until 11:30 pm each night.

Visiting the tree is one of our top free, seasonal things to do at night in NYC.

On Christmas Day, December 25, the tree remains lit for a full 24 hours. On New Year’s Eve, December 31, the lights are turned off early at 9 pm.

The best location for that perfect picture is from 5th Avenue at the entrance to the Channel Gardens.

This is part of the Rockefeller Center complex. The entrance is on 5th Avenue between West 49th Street and West 50th Street.

Our Guide to Rockefeller Center has information and a map of the complex and can help you find your way around.

You could also see the tree with us on one of our Midtown Manhattan Walking Tours or let us guide you around the neighborhood with our GPS-enabled audio tour app.

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TIPS FOR ATTENDING THE CEREMONY

Where to stand to see the Tree Lighting:

The tree is located in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The area with views of the tree is very small and will be very crowded.

Again, go early, by 3 pm the latest if you want to be in a prime location.

You can see the tree from these locations:

  • On Rockefeller Plaza, a short street that is located between West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues and also surrounds the ice skating rink (in orange in the image below)
  • In the Channel Gardens, a very narrow pedestrian walkway entered from 5th Avenue between West 49th and West 50th Streets (in green in the image below)
  • You can also see from a segment of 5th Avenue that is between 49th and 50th Street (red star in the image below)

Where to stand to see the live performances:

The live performances take place in front of the Prometheus Statue in the lower concourse square, which is surrounded by Rockefeller Plaza (in orange in the image above).

In the photo below, you can see people on the lower level, standing near the stage, lit in red. These people are “VIPs”. This area is not open to the general public.

To be able to see the performers you must be in the first few rows of people along the north, south and east perimeters of the rink.

If seeing the performers is a priority you should aim to get there by 12 pm or earlier.

Good to know:

  • The celebration is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. You do not need a ticket.
  • Aim to get there by 3 pm, and no later than 4 pm or you may not be able to find a spot to see the tree.
  • Street closures for vehicles between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 48th to 51st Streets begin at 3 pm that day, so taking mass transit is advised.
  • Security: no umbrellas, backpacks or large bags are allowed into the event. There are many places where you can store your bags for a few hours. See our post on Where to Store Luggage in New York City
  • If you can’t make the lighting in person, it is broadcast on TV live on NBC (local channel 4) from 7 pm – 9 pm. It is also streamed live from NBC and other live stream sources.

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ICE SKATING AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER AND OTHER RINKS

If Rockefeller Center is out of your budget or just not your scene, there are a number of great places to skate, some for free even (provided you have your own skates).

See our post on Where to Go Ice Skating in New York City.

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THINGS TO DO AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER AND NEARBY

There is no shortage of things to do at or near Rockefeller Center. Here are our suggestions:

Visit the Top of the Rock

Get unparalleled views of New York City at the observatory. See our post with details, prices and how to even get discounts.

Note: Top of the Rock admission is included in all 3 New York City tourist discount cards.

If you aren’t sure that Top of the Rock is the view you want, read our post comparing the 3 best observatory decks: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, or One World Trade Center Observatory?

Take a tour of Radio City Music Hall

This majestic and lush theater can be viewed on a paid tour. Learn more about the tour, ticket costs and discounts by reading Radio City Music Hall Stage Door Tour.

Take a walking tour

We invite you to join our pay-what-you-wish guided walking tour of Midtown Manhattan which includes Rockefeller Center.

If you can’t join us, please feel free to enjoy our self-guided tour of Rockefeller Center and also our Midtown Manhattan Self-Guided Tour.

See St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Located right across the street from Rockefeller Center, this historic and impressive cathedral is worth a pop in. You can also take a St. Patrick’s Cathedral Tour.

Visit the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Just two blocks away, this is one of the premier modern art museums in the world. Here’s how you can visit it for free! Check out our MoMA post for the details.

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OTHER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES

See the insanely over-the-top holiday lights of Brooklyn‘s Dyker Heights neighborhood.

Shop at the many Christmas Markets in New York City.

Take our New York Holiday Lights Tour (see video below).

See a holiday show!

Look at our Guide to Christmas in New York City for even more information!

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HISTORY AND FUN FACTS

Although the first official Rockefeller Tree was lit in 1933, the very first Christmas tree at the center was erected in by the construction workers who were building Rockefeller Center in 1931.

This first tree was just 20 feet tall and was decorated with paper garlands, cranberries, and even a few tin cans.

Remember, 1931 was a year in the midst of the Great Depression in America.

But if all the workers could get hold of were tin cans, they were not going to let any obstacle prevent them from celebrating Christmas. (A great history of Rockefeller Center can be found here.)

  • The tree must be at least 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide, but the preferred height is usually between 75 and 90 feet tall and proportionally wide.
  • The tallest Rockefeller Tree in history was in 1999: 100 feet tall!
  • Most of the trees are Norway Spruces. Because this tree doesn’t typically grow to this size in the New York area, most of the trees are cultivated in peoples’ yards.
  • A helicopter flies over New Jersey and Connecticut to scour the area for potential candidates.
  • There is no monetary compensation offered for the tree if yours is selected. It is a donation and considered an honor to have your tree as the official Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
  • The tree is only decorated with lights and a star.
  • There are over 30,000 lights on the tree (about 5 miles of strands!)
  • The star used on the current trees was made of Swarovski crystal. The star is 10 feet tall, weighs 550 lbs and has 25,000 crystals.
  • The tree now uses LED lights. As compared to the old incandescent bulbs, the LED lights save enough energy every day to power a 2,000 sq ft home for a month!
  • The tree stays up until the Christian Feast of the Epiphany (the official end to the Christmas season).
  • The tree is recycled after it is taken down. Over three tons of mulch can be made from the trees.
  • In 1942, in honor of the war effort, the traditional large tree was replaced with three smaller trees, decorated in red, white and blue.
  • The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is seen in the films Home Alone 2 and Elf, as well as several others.

Happy Holidays!!

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RELATED CONTENT:

  • Christmas in NYC
  • Guide to Rockefeller Center
  • Things to Do in NYC

Tags: Midtown Manhattan Tour Must-see New York Rockefeller Center

Lighting of Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Dazzles Crowds and Ushers In Holiday Season Amid Chilly Temps

  • NBC will broadcast “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” from 7 to 10 p.m
  • John Legend, Derek & Julianne Hough, Brett Eldredge, Idina Menzel, Gwen Stefani and Lea Michele are set to perform
  • The tree will be lit every day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. until Jan. 7., except for Christmas Day, when it will be lit around the clock

One of the brightest signs of the holiday season has come to light. The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was officially turned on Wednesday night, at an event featuring celebrities including Idina Menzel, Lea Michele and Ne-Yo among the performers.

The iconic tree was illuminated in a festive ceremony, where spectators saw some security restrictions, faced street closures and bundled up for cold and blustery weather.

Mario Lopez, Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella kicked off the celebrations before “Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin then greeted the entire country for the 87th annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center.”

Despite mostly cloudy skies, New York City stayed mostly dry for the festivities and temperatures hovered in the low 40s for those standing in the cold.

The 87th annual holiday celebration featured a 77-foot tall Norway spruce from Florida, New York. The 60-year-old tree weights 14 ton and was donated by Carol Schultz. The tree is wrapped in five miles of multi-colored lights and topped with a brand new, 900-pound star made of Swarovski crystals.

The tree’s lights will be illuminated every day from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. through Jan. 6 and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2019.

On Christmas Day, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for a full 24 hours.

Throughout the night, there were performances from a star-fueled lineup, including this year’s “Sexiest Man Alive” John Legend, Derek & Julianne Hough, Brett Eldredge, Idina Menzel, Gwen Stefani, Lea Michele, Chicago, NE-YO, Straight No Chaser, Skylar Astin and Alex Newell.

After the tree is taken down in mid-January, it will be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

Here are some historical facts about the Rockefeller Center Tree:

• 1931 – Construction workers building Rockefeller Center put up a Christmas tree, the first-ever Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

• 1933 – First formal Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony. The tree was decked with 700 lights in front of the eight-month-old RCA Building.

• 1936 – Two trees, each 70 feet (21.3 m) tall, were erected. For the first time the Lighting Ceremony included a skating pageant on the newly opened Rockefeller Plaza Outdoor Ice Skating Pond.

• 1942 – Three trees were placed on Rockefeller Plaza, one decorated in red, one in white and one in blue to show support for our troops serving during World War II.

• 1949 – The tree was painted silver, to look like snow.

• 1951 – The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit for the first time on national television on the Kate Smith Show.

• 1966 – The first tree from outside the United States was erected. It was given by Canada, in honor of the Centennial of its Confederation. This is the farthest distance a tree has traveled to Rockefeller Center.

• 1980 – For the 50th Anniversary of Tree Lighting, a 70 foot-tall (21.3 m) Norway Spruce came from the grounds of the Immaculate Conception Seminary of Mahwah, N.J. Bob Hope participated in the Lighting.

• 1999 – The largest tree in Rockefeller Center history, 100 feet tall (30.5 m), came from Killingworth, Conneticut.

• 2004 – The Swarovski-designed star became the largest star to ever grace the tree.

• 2007 – For the first time, the tree was lit with energy-efficient LEDs. They draw a fraction of the power that had been traditionally required by the tree, reducing energy consumption from 3,510 kwH to 1,297 kwH per day, saving as much energy as a single family would use in a month in a 2,000 square foot (185.8 m²) home. Hundreds of solar panels atop one of the Rockefeller Center buildings help power the new LEDs.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s hard to deny that one of New York’s most iconic annual events is the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center. It’s kinda magical and it’s part of the city’s identity – not a huge surprise since we’ve been doing it since 1931.

If you wanted to catch the arrival of the tree this year, I’m afraid that moment has passed. The tree was brought to Rockefeller Center on November 9 from Florida, New York. It was quite a spectacle, not surprising given how huge this thing is: 77 feet tall and 12 tons! And it’ll be covered in 50,000 LED bulbs. Woof. The tree will be lit up for the first time this year on December 4th at an 8PM event featuring performances from Derek & Julianne Hough, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, NE-YO, Straight No Chaser, Brett Eldredge, John Legend and Gwen Stefani. The event will be hosted by Today Show anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Craig Melvin and Al Roker.

And if you can’t make it to midtown that day or you prefer to stay home in Brooklyn with your cat like me, you can always catch the event on TV. The tree will stay lit every evening until January 7, so you’ve got some time. And once the festivities are over, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, who will process it to help build houses. Everybody wins!

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting happens Wednesday night

NEW YORK CITY (TODAY)— Nothing says the holidays in New York City like the window displays on Fifth Avenue, the Winter Village in Bryant Park and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The tree has been a holiday staple in Rockefeller Center every year since 1931, with the lighting being broadcast live around the world since 1951.

This year, the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting will be held on Wednesday night.

5 facts about the 2018 Rockefeller Christmas tree:

The tree is 72 feet tall and weighs 12 tons.

The 75-year-old Norway Spruce tree is named Shelby and hails from Wallkill, New York, which is 80 miles north of New York City.

Shelby was donated by Shirley Figeuroa and Lissette Gutierrez.

The tree will be wrapped in five miles of multi-colored lights and topped with a brand new star made of three million Swarovski crystals.

After January 7 the tree will be donated to Habitat For Humanity.

When is the Rockefeller Center tree lighting?

The Rockefeller Center tree lighting festivities start at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday. However, the actual tree lighting will happen around 8:00 p.m., and the event is set to end at 9:00 p.m.

How to watch the Rockefeller Center tree lighting?

The 86th annual tree lighting will be broadcast nationally on NBC and locally on NBC15 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The holiday season kickoff event will be hosted by TODAY anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin.

Stick around for Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s Christmas special, “A Legendary Christmas with John and Chrissy,” which will air directly after the live tree lighting at 9:00 p.m. on NBC15.

Who is performing at the Rockefeller tree lighting 2018?

Throughout the night, there will be performances from a star-fueled lineup, including: Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, John Legend, Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, Martina McBride, Pentatonix, Kellie Pickler and Howie Mandel

Nothing says the holidays in New York City like the window displays on Fifth Avenue, the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The tree has been a holiday staple in Rockefeller Center every year since 1931, with the lighting being broadcast live around the world since 1951.

This year, the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Visiting hours will be 6 a.m. to midnight daily through Jan. 17, 2020. On Christmas Day, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for a full 24 hours.

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5 facts about the 2019 Rockefeller Christmas tree:

Nov. 9, 201902:46

  • The tree is 77 feet tall, 46 feet wide and weighs approximately 12 tons.
  • The Norway Spruce tree, which is estimated to be between 70 and 75 years old, hails from from Florida, New York, in Orange County, and was donated by Carol Schultz.
  • The tree will be topped with a newly redesigned star from Swarovski and famed architect Daniel Libeskind. The star weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals.
  • After Jan. 17, the tree will be donated to Habitat For Humanity.

When is the Rockefeller Center tree lighting?

The Rockefeller Center tree lighting festivities start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4. However, the actual tree lighting will happen around 9 p.m., and the event is set to end at 10 p.m.

For those in New York hoping to watch live, spots are first-come, first-serve. Plan on arriving at Rockefeller Center around 3 p.m., but no later than 4 p.m., to secure a good view.

How to watch the Rockefeller Center tree lighting?

The 87th annual tree lighting will be broadcast nationally on NBC from 8 p.m to 10 p.m EST. The holiday season kickoff event will be hosted by TODAY anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin.

Be sure to tune in for Mario Lopez, Stefan Holt, and Natalie Pasquarella’s pre-show at 7 p.m. EST on NBC.

Who is performing at the Rockefeller tree lighting 2019?

Throughout the night, there will be performances from a star-fueled lineup, including:

  • John Legend
  • Derek & Julianne Hough
  • Brett Eldredge
  • Idina Menzel
  • Gwen Stefani
  • Lea Michele
  • Chicago
  • NE-YO
  • Straight No Chaser
  • Skylar Astin & Alex Newell

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting 2019: How To Watch

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NY — The annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is one of the biggest holiday celebrations in the world. This year’s tree lighting, which takes place Dec. 4, will draw tens of thousands of people — tourists and locals — to Midtown Manhattan and will be viewed on TV by millions around the globe.

This year’s tree will be decked out with 50,000 multi-color LED lights and a Swarovski crystal star. The massive Norway spruce has been standing in Rockefeller Center since Nov. 9 and will remain in place until Jan. 17.

Whether you’re planning to go to the event, watch from home or avoid it, Patch has you covered with everything you need to know about the tree lighting ceremony.

Getting to Rockefeller Center:

Tens of thousands of brave souls will head to Rockefeller Center to see the tree lighting in person. The massive crowds will bring immense congestion to the area, and driving there will be nearly impossible. Anyone going to the tree lighting in person should take public transit.

The closest subway stop to the Midtown destination is the 47-50th Streets-Rockefeller Center station on the B/D/F/M lines. Other alternatives include the 49th Street station on the N/R/W lines, the 5th Ave/53rd Street station on the E line and Grand Central Terminal on the 4/5/6/7 lines and the Metro-North Railroad.

This year, pedestrians will feel a little less crowded on the streets near Rockefeller Center. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio approved a plan to ban cars on the streets directly adjacent to the Midtown attraction and to expand pedestrian space along sections of Fifth and Sixth avenues. The NYPD will likely enforce even more closures on the day of the tree lighting.

Those who want good views of the tree lighting should plan to arrive in Midtown Manhattan well before the tree lighting begins.

Broadcast and performers:

The vast majority of people tuning in to the tree lighting will be watching on their TVs or through a streaming service. NBC continues to hold the national rights to broadcast the Rockefeller Center tree lighting. The broadcast will be hosted by NBC “TODAY” anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Craig Melvin, according to the network. NBC begins broadcasting at 8 p.m. and generally ends around 10 p.m.

Mario Lopez, Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella will host the lead-in to the broadcast from 7 to 8 p.m., according to a press release.

Performers for this year’s broadcast include Derek and Julianne Hough, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele and NE-YO. John Legend, Gwen Stefani and Brett Eldredge will join the broadcast from a separate celebration in Chicago. As always, the Radio City Rockettes will play a major role in the event.

This year’s tree:

The 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree hails from Florida, New York. The village of Florida is just about 63 miles away from Rockefeller Center — about a 1.5-hour drive for most cars — but transporting the giant tree on a 115-foot-long trailer took about two days.

Even though winter is approaching in New York, the official Holiday Season does not start until the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza has been lit in a legendary and impressive lighting ceremony. This year, the lighting of the tree ceremony at Rockefeller Center will take place on Wednesday, December 4th, 2019.

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The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

In New York, the Tree Lighting Ceremony right after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Holiday season. Over the past years, we weren’t super lucky with the weather but the Tree Lighting Ceremony attracts tons of people every year. Of course, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is the highlight of tourists coming to New York from all over the world during Christmas time. Most visitors only know the tree from movies or pictures, so it’s very impressive looking at it in person.

About the Tree Lighting Ceremony

It’s the spectacle of the holiday season. Many people travel great distances to New York City just to attend the Tree Lighting Ceremony in person. It’s a dream come true and over the years, it’s become a bigger and bigger event that features many performances. The tree lighting ceremony lasts for about 3 hours, starting at around 7 pm and ending around 10 pm. Here’s what you need to know if you want to attend the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony:

When is the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony?

The ceremony takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, which is the third Thursday in November. This year, the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony falls on December 4th. The ceremony starts around 7 pm but the tree won’t be lit until 9:55 pm. Usually, at the moment of the lighting, a general hush descends upon the masses gathered to view the event (a rarity in New York City), followed by thunderous applause. And the applause is warranted – the tree is a sight to behold.

When should you arrive at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony?

Sparkling and beautiful, it is the centerpiece of the Plaza every year. Our tip: if you would like to witness the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center, be sure to get there no later than 3 pm with the ceremony starting at 7 pm. Every year, the crowds get bigger. You won’t be able to see the tree if you’re only an hour or two early. If you want to see the tree and be part of the ceremony, expect to wait outside in the cold for hours.

How can I avoid the crowds at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony?

If you want to avoid the crowds, you can attend an exclusive tree lighting party with views of the tree. These parties do not only offer views of the trees from a warm room but also let you enjoy a great party with food in a festive atmosphere. Because the tree lighting ceremony is such a big deal in New York and only a few locations have great views of the tree, tickets are quite expensive. You will need to decide for yourself whether it is worth it. Check out the details of an exclusive party below.

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*If there are no tickets left anymore, it’s because they are sold out! Because of high demand, you need to reserve your spots as soon as you can.

The Star of Manhattan until January

Visitors that travel to New York during the timeframe of December 4th and January 17th get to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center; the tree enjoys celebrity status in Manhattan during that time and turns into the most photographed attraction in the city during that time.

At 9 PM on January 17, the lights are turned off. In the following days, the tree will be removed and then turned into valuable building materials for Habitat for Humanity.