Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lightening


The Rockefeller Center in New York City comes alive with festive spirit as it hosts its 91st annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 29, 2023. The event, which will be broadcast live on NBC and Peacock from 8 to 10 p.m. ET, features Kelly Clarkson as the host. Clarkson, who recently relocated her show to New York, will be joined by a stellar lineup of performers including Chloe Bailey, Cher, Barry Manilow, and others, with a special appearance by the Radio City Rockettes.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a symbol of holiday cheer, began in 1933, though its roots trace back to 1931 during the construction of Rockefeller Center. Workers at the site, primarily of Italian-American descent, set up a modest 20-foot balsam fir, adorned with homemade decorations. The official lighting of a larger tree began two years later, marking the start of an enduring legacy. Over the years, the tree has mirrored historical events, like the patriotic-themed decorations during World War II.

Each year, a carefully selected Norway spruce, usually standing between 69 and 100 feet tall, is donated to Rockefeller Center. After the holiday season, the tree is repurposed into lumber for Habitat for Humanity. The selection process, led by the Head Gardener at Rockefeller Center, involves scouting numerous trees for their robustness and iconic shape. Transporting the tree to its destination is an intricate process, often involving cranes, custom trailers, and occasionally air transport.

The tree went eco-friendly in 2007 by switching to LED lights, reducing its energy consumption significantly. This step was part of a broader initiative by Rockefeller Center to promote sustainability.

Attracting millions each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony stands as a beacon of the holiday spirit, bringing together tradition, community, and festive joy in the heart of New York City.

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