THE holidays are about to officially get underway in New York City, with the lighting of the world-famous Rockefeller Christmas tree.
The 79-foot, 12-ton tree arrived in Manhattan last month, and will be adorned with more than 50,000 multicolored lights and topped with a 900-pound star with 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals before tonight’s event.
The annual Christmas event is airing on NBC on Wednesday at 8pm ET, with Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, and Al Roker hosting.
During the event, The Rockettes, Carrie Underwood, Harry Connick Jr., Brad Paisley, Norah Jones, Alessia Cara, Mickey Guyton, Rob Thomas, and the Broadway stars of Come From Away are also performing.
The spruce, about 85 years old, had stood near the Price family’s house in Maryland before being cut down last month.
Devon and Julie Price told NBC’s “Today” that they had worried about it falling down during a storm.
“So we’re very excited to have it go to New York City,” Devon Price said.
Read our Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting live blog for the latest news and updates…
WATCH IT GET REMOVED
Rockefeller Center shared footage of this year’s Christmas tree being cut down in Maryland.
BEFORE IT WAS TAKEN TO NEW YORK
Take a look at this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree, before it was cut down and taken to New York City.
HOW LONG HAS ERIK PAUZE CHOSEN THE ROCKEFELLER TREES?
Erik Pauze, the Rockefeller Center lead gardener, has been selecting the Christmas trees for the past 30 years.
TEN-STORY HIGH SCAFFOLD
Check out this behind the scenes view of the tree decoration process.
NEW IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT TO HOLD VIGIL AHEAD OF LIGHTING
The New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) announced it will be holding a “Stop Separating Families” vigil at the Rockefeller Center tree lighting celebration.
The event will take place at 6pm, which is ahead of the tree lighting ceremony, which is set to begin at 8pm.
TAKING A LOOK BEFORE IT IS LIT
This is how the 2021 Rockefeller Christmas tree looks now. It will be lit up tonight with about 50,000 LED lights.
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING WAS CLOSED LAST YEAR
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony was closed to the public last year.
This year, the tree lighting ceremony will be open.
OWL FOUND IN LAST YEAR’S TREE
During the installation of last year’s Christmas tree, workers discovered a dehydrated northern saw-whet owl.
The female adult owl was brought in to a rehabilitation facility and nursed back to health, before being released in upstate New York.
HOW MANY PEOPLE VISIT THE TREE?
An estimated 125million people visit the Rockefeller Christmas tree every year.
HOW LONG WILL THE TREE STAY UP?
This year’s tree is scheduled to stay up until January 16, 2022, according to ABC 7 NY.
The tree will be lit every day from 6am until midnight, except for Christmas Day, when it will be lit for 24 hours.
HOW ARE THE TREES CHOSEN?
The head gardener at Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauze, scouts backyards and nurseries to look for trees that have the shape of a Christmas tree.
The trees must also be able to support the heavy ornaments (the star alone weighs over 900 pounds).
Pauze typically searches in the tri-state area.
WHEN DID THE ROCKEFELLER TREE TRADITION BEGIN?
Rockefeller Center has been holding the annual Christmas tree tradition since 1933, when it had its first lighting ceremony.
Two years prior in 1931, the first Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center was decorated when workers put in money to purchase a 20-foot-tall balsam fir.
HOW BIG IS THE STAR?
The current Rockefeller Christmas tree star weighs over 900 pounds, and has 70 spikes. It is covered in three million Swarovksi crystals.
The star was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, and has been used since 2018.
HOW MANY LIGHTS ARE ON THE TREE?
The tree is covered with 50,000 multicolored LED lights.
The wire stretches over five miles.
WHAT KIND OF TREES ARE BROUGHT TO ROCKEFELLER CENTER?
The trees most often chosen are Norway Spruce species.
In past years, they have come from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Canada.
DOES ROCKEFELLER CENTER PURCHASE THE TREES?
The trees brought in each year to Rockefeller Center are typically donated.
This year’s tree was donated by Devon and Julie Price, after Rockefeller Center’s head gardener, Erik Pauze, knocked on their door to inspect the tree last March.
HOW OLD IS THE TREE?
The Rockefeller Christmas tree is an estimated 85-years old, and it weighs in at 12 tons.
It traveled 145 miles from Maryland to Rockefeller Center, on a 115-foot trailer.
WHERE IS THIS YEAR’S TREE FROM?
This year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree is from Elkton, Maryland.
It stands at 79-feet tall, and is New York City’s first Christmas tree from Maryland.
WHEN DID THE TREE GET TO NEW YORK CITY?
The 79-foot, 12-ton tree arrived in Manhattan last month.
It will be dressed up in 50,000 multicolored lights and topped with a 900-pound star with 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals before tonight’s star-studded event.
WHERE IS ROCKEFELLER CENTER?
Rockefeller Center is in New York City.
It’s the site of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Tonight, the tree will be lit in a dazzling ceremony featuring several performances.