Center tree lighting
has been a tradition for over 75 years. This annual occurrence is
also New York's most celebrated event!
year, the tree will be lit on Wednesday, November 30th with live
performances from top artists, as well as previously taped
performances from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Rockefeller Plaza
(between West 48th & West 51st Streets and 5th & 6th Avenues
history of the tree lighting didn’t start out as the grand event it
is today. In fact, the tree has a very interesting history that we’d
like to share with you.
first tree was put up on Christmas Eve in 1931, measuring only 20
feet tall. Then in 1933, a Rockefeller Center publicist organized the
first official tree lighting ceremony. A few years later, in 1936,
two trees were put up in the Center to celebrate the opening of the
landmark skating rink.
number then grew to three trees in 1942, when Rockefeller Center did
its part to help the war effort. The trio of trees were decked out in
classic red, white, and blue to symbolize our country’s unity.
However, those trees would not stay lit for long. In 1944, the trees
remained unlit because of the wartime blackout regulations and in
1945, organizers used six ultraviolet light projectors to make all of
the 700 fluorescent globes on the tree appear to glow in the dark to
make up for the darkness of the previous year!
the 1950’s, America had already fallen in love with the Rockefeller
Center Christmas tree. In 1951, NBC televised the tree lighting
ceremony for the first time ever, and from 1953 to 1955, the tree
lighting was televised on the Howdy
show. It was an amazing feat. Some might say that the Rockefeller
Christmas tree is now the most famous Christmas tree of all time!
1956, a New Hampshire man gave a 65-foot white spruce to the governor
of New Hampshire who then in turn offered it to the Rockefeller
Center as a gift. Ever since that time, the Rockefeller Center
Christmas tree has been of a grand stature, measuring anywhere from
65 feet to 100 feet tall! In 1999, the largest tree in Rockefeller
History was chosen from Killingworth, CT. The tree was 100 feet high,
was 100 years old and weighed 10 tons! Definitely a memorable way to
celebrate the dawn of a new millennium!
2007, an eco-friendly change took place when the tree crew began
using a two person handsaw to cut the tree down. Additionally, the
tree lights were switched to an energy-saving 30,000 LED lights,
which use only a fraction of the electricity as traditional bulbs.
After the tree was taken down, it was donated to Habitat for Humanity
for use as green wood in home building projects.
– a lot has happened in the past 75 years or so! If you’re
planning on attending the 2011 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Lighting, be sure to reserve your Christmas
in NYC vacation package
with us today. The crowd for the ceremony is expected to be 10,000
this year and we want to make sure that you don’t miss any of the
NYC holiday activities!