Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to Arrive in NYC

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11 Nov. 2010: The 74 ft. tall Norway spruce will be heading from Mahopac, NY into the city today, marking the kick-off of the holiday season in the city. Each year, a search begins for the perfect tree, which is desired to be at least 65 ft tall and 35 ft wide. Reviewing photos and following up on leads from people all over the country claiming to have a tree worthy of becoming the city’s official tree, the search and careful monitoring of the selected tree prior to its move to the Big Apple is a long and well guarded process. The first ever Rockefeller tree was put on display in 1931 and the first tree lighting ceremony was in 1933, a practice that began as a way to raise spirits during the Depression. Traditionally, the lighting ceremony is the week following the Thanksgiving holiday. The 2010 tree lighting will take place on Tuesday, November 30th.

Rockefeller Center is located in the center of the complex of buildings between 47th and 50th Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues.

Lighting Hours: The tree is generally illuminated from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. daily, except on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. On Christmas, the tree is illuminated for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve the lights are turned off at 9:00 p.m. The tree remains up until January 2, 2011