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CityPASS Home  »  City Traveler Blog  »  World-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Arrives Nov. 12

City Traveler Blog

World-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Arrives Nov. 12

New York City has plenty of stars, but not one of them is quite as big or shines so bright as the legendary tree that sprouts up each holiday season at Rockefeller Center. In fact, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Center is as much a New York tradition as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Every season, since the construction of Rockefeller Center in 1931, the tree has served as a welcoming beacon for holiday shoppers, visitors en-route to Top of the Rock, and ice-skaters who love to glide below its massive branches on The Rock’s adjacent skating rink.

The tree will receive a hearty New York welcome when it arrives at Rockefeller Center on Nov. 12. The annual lighting ceremony, scheduled for Nov. 30, is considered by many to be the official kick-off for the Big Apple’s holiday season. (Sorry, Black Friday.) And for the last decade or so, the illuminating of this spectacular 75-foot-plus Norway spruce has become a global event, courtesy of NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center show.

It’s not every twig that can hold its own in a city dotted with massive, sky-scraping buildings. But since the first Depression-era tree — a balsam fir strung with nothing but cranberries, paper garlands and a few tin cans — to the current behemoth illuminated by 30,000 environmentally friendly LED lights on five miles of wire, and crowned by a Swarovski crystal star, the Rockefeller Center Tree is, and always will be, a vision to behold.

Following its illustrious run (which ends Jan. 7, 2011), the massive tree will be cut into boards and donated to Habitat for Humanity to be used to build homes for people in need. How’s that for the spirit of giving?

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