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rockefeller center christmas tree


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday, setting off a dazzling 45,000 multi-colored LED lights and a 9 ½-foot-wide Swarovski star that topped the 12-ton tree.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas was illuminated for the first time this holiday season in a ceremony that’s been held since 1933

The holiday event in midtown Manhattan also was watched by millions on television. The tree will be on display until January 7, after which it’ll be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

Artists such as Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis performed.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights

Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights

The approximately 75-year-old tree made the 70-mile trip to New York City on a tractor-trailer from its home in Shelton, Connecticut, last month.

Today Show’s Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales co-hosted “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” which aired on NBC.

They dedicated the broadcast to James Lovell, 58, a married father of four and a sound and lighting expert who worked on the tree.

James Lovell was one of four people killed when a Metro-North commuter train derailed in Bronx area on Sunday. He was on his way to work on the tree when the accident occurred.

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The 2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been lighten for the first time on Wednesday, November 28th, with live and taped performances from 7–9 p.m., at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues.

Tens of thousands crowded the sidewalks for the event and hundreds of millions will watch it live across the globe. The Tree will remain lit and can be viewed until 11 p.m. on January 7th, 2013.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a world-wide symbol of the holidays in New York City.

This year’s tree arrived at Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, November 14th, 2012.

During the time that the tree arrives, a giant crane hoists it into position in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Once the tree is in place, it is decorated with more than 30,000 multi-colored, energy-efficient LED lights, and crowned by a Swarovski star.

2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

2012 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

For many people, the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center symbolizes the true beginning of the holiday season. The festive ceremony happens every year on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

The tradition of the tree at Rockefeller Center dates back to the Great Depression when in the 1930’s the first tree, only 20 feet tall, was set up by construction workers. Since those early years, the tree has grown in size and spectacle until today’s tree which is roughly 80 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter.

The tradition of televising the ceremony began in 1951 and has been going strong for the 61 years since. This year telecast included performances by Mariah Carey, Trace Adkins, CeeLo Green, Victoria Justice, Rod Stewart, Chris Mann, and Il Volo. Christmas carols will ensue. There will also be appearances by Bette Midler and Billy Crystal. NBC and the tree lighting powers that be did an excellent job at zeroing in on nearly every demographic.

This year’s Christmas tree is estimated to be 80 years old, just as old as the tradition of Christmas trees at Rockefeller Center

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