November 2010 marks the 78th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in New York City’s Rockefeller Center!
This year, the tree at Rockefeller Center will be lit on Tuesday, November 30. It is a festive ceremony with live performances from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Radio City Rockettes often perform at the tree lighting ceremony as well as popular performance artists.
This year’s tree will be decorated by 30,000 environmentally friendly LED lights and will be topped with a star made with Swarovski crystals. It will take more than 5 miles of lights to decorate the tree.
The “Swarovski Star” that has been topping the tree since 2004 is gigantic. It measures 9.5 feet (3m) across and weighs 550 pounds (249.5 kg).
The annual lighting of The Tree at Rockefeller Center is a tradition that officially goes back to 1933, although the first tree was erected in 1931.
Trees are usual scouted and cut down from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and are almost always Norway spruces.
There are height requirements for trees chosen for Rockefeller Center. They have to be between 69 and 110 feet (21 to 33 m) tall. 1999 holds the record for the tallest Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center – it was 100 feet (30.5 m) tall.
The trees are recycled after they are taken down and turned into mulch and logs, which are then donated to good causes.
The tree will stay lit daily from 5:30 am to 11:30 pm except on Christmas Day when it will stay lit for 24 hours. New Year’s Eve day, the tree will be lit from 5:30 am to 9:00 pm.
The Tree at Rockefeller Center gets millions of visitors during its 5 to 6 week display.
Rockefeller Plaza is located between West 48th & West 51st Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues.