More than half a million revelers from around the city and across the world gathered at Rockefeller Center’s iconic plaza yesterday, braving cold temperatures to watch the annual Christmas Tree Lighting extravaganza. New York YIMBY captured the iconic New York celebration, which is currently in its 87th year. Jerry Speyer and Rob Speyer of Tishman Speyer, along with Mayor Bill DeBlasio, lit up the iconic tree just before 10:00pm last night.
Photos show the different colored lights that were cast upon 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the surrounding buildings and ice skating rink, which was used as a stage for performances.
Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, and Al Roker co-hosted the Christmas in Rockefeller Center TV special, while Access Hollywood’s Mario Lopez, WNBC-TV news anchor Stefan Holt, and News 4 New York anchor Natalie Pasquarella hosted from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. There were live performances from Derek & Julianne Hough, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Ne-Yo, Billy Porter, Straight No Chaser, Jordan Fisher, and Skylar Astin & Alex Newell from NBC’s Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Additional appearances by Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, the Radio City Rockettes, Jon Bon Jovi, Chicago, Brett Eldredge, John Legend, and Gwen Stefani were also a big part of the show.
The Christmas tree, which is a Norway Spruce, comes from the town of Florida, NY and was planted as a sapling by Carol Schultz in 1959. It now stands 77 feet tall in the middle of the Big Apple and was shipped over 60 miles to its current resting place. It surpassed the height and weight of last year’s tree by five feet and two tons. Topping the evergreen off is a giant 900-pound Swarovski Crystal star that was designed by Daniel Libeskind and measures 112 inches in diameter. There are three million individual crystals that will brightly sparkle and shine in the daytime and nighttime thanks to LED backlighting. The crystals radiate from the center and are placed on 30 spikes. Over 50,000 multi-colored lights hug and wrap around the Christmas Tree.
The tree will be on display until January 17, 2020, when it will be taken down to be donated and used as lumber for Habitat For Humanity.