The 2013 Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting: Livening Up NYC for the Holidays

Written by Sandra Stelmach  |  20. November 2013

With the first small snowfall of the season only just behind us, and shops across the Island beginning to deck the halls, it’s sure beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The most festive time of the year is fast-approaching, and Long Island is already prepping for a fun-filled holiday season. Tons of tree lighting ceremonies are underway across Long Island but the most infamous of all is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree of New York City

This year marks the 81st anniversary of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and the date is set for Wednesday, December 4th between 7 - 9 PM. The tree will be lit up by approximately 45,000 multi-colored twinkling LED lights, and topped with a breathtaking Swarovski crystal star that is 9.5 feet in diameter, and weighs in at 550 pounds!  
On the 4th, tens of thousands of local New Yorkers and tourists from around the globe will crowd Rockefeller Plaza for the big event to take pictures and experience the city’s most beloved holiday traditions. Meanwhile, in living rooms across the country, millions will cozy up on their couches with hot chocolate to watch the tree light up - you can watch the ceremony live this year on NBC.
The 76-foot-tall Norway Spruce, which was generously donated by the Vargoshe family, was already delivered to Manhattan earlier this month. At 46 feet in diameter, it weighs 12 tons and is roughly 75 years old.  
If you were wondering where the tradition of the Rockefeller Plaza Christmas Tree all started, check out some fun facts about the tree’s history: 
  • The first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was set up in 1931 by construction workers building Rockefeller Center in celebration of the new site. 
  • The first lighting ceremony wasn’t until 1933. 
  • The tallest tree recorded was 100 feet in 1999.  
With this year’s tree decoration process complete, it is now waiting to be lit. Once the holiday season is over, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity for future use as lumber.
This year’s tree will be available for viewing between the hours of 5:30 AM and 11:30 PM and will remain lit until 11 PM on January 7th, 2014 so you can even see the tree after Christmas! If you can’t get enough, check out the local Christmas Tree Lightings taking place near you!
Photo by Alsandro, via WikiCommons.

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