The 81st Annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place on December 4th, 2013 from 7-9pm!
The Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting ceremony is always a fun event, full of pomp and celebrities, and usually occurs in very late November or early December. The exact date of the ceremony is often announced in October of every year.
More than 30,000 multicolored, 7 1/2-watt bulbs arestrung on over 5 miles of electrical wire to decorate the tree. Each branch is individually wrapped to achieve the full lighting effect and there were no other ornaments on the tree except for the star on top.
An integral part of the success of the event begins with a search for the perfect tree. All year around, people from all around the USA write in with photos of their trees offering them to Rockefeller Center. The desired dimensions are a minimum of 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide, although the tree is usually over 75 to 90 feet tall. This means the tree is typically a Norway Spruce, a native to Northern Europe not America. However, many Norway Spruce have been planted in the United States ornamentally, and have grown to large sizes. And because they grow approximately one foot a year this means the tree may have been planted by your Grandfather!
Once the tree is cut and moved carefully off its stump, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center counts the rings, to get a more accurate measure of its age. The tree travels on a custom-made, telescoping trailer, which can stretch to 100 feet and could accommodate a tree up to 125 feet tall. It takes 15-20 people and a 280-ton, all terrain, hydraulic crane to handle the tree. The same crane is used to erect and remove the tree from its place of honor at Rockefeller Center. The tree is transported from its home to New York City, and then travels in the middle of the night with a police escort on a route designed to disrupt as little traffic as possible. The route is carefully planned with the assistance of local police and those in Manhattan.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is located in the Plaza center, at 50th Street and 5th Avenue The tree may be viewed around the clock, but you will want to see it when it is lit.
Address: 600 5th Ave
Cross Streets 47-51st streets bet. Fifth and Seventh Avenues
- to Rockefeller Center 47-50th St.
- to E. 51st St. and Lexington Ave
- to 50th St. and Broadway
- to 49th St. and Seventh Ave
- to Fifth Ave. and 53rd St
Hours And Additional Info
Lit daily through January 7: 5:30am-11:30pm
All day on Christmas Day
New Year's Eve: 5:30am-9:00pm
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