Christmas at Rockefeller Center- The Lighting of the Tree

Christmas at Rockefeller Center- The Lighting of the Tree

It marks the beginning of the Christmas season in New York City and around the world with the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Thousands of people from locals to world travelers come for this time-honored tradition. I am not going to pretty it up for you, the reader, it is not an easy task to see the tree lighting in person. Unless you are lucky enough to be a member of the press or maybe a relative of the Rockefellers, it will take some work to do this.



The temperature this year for the tree lighting was 41 degrees and it was a bit windy. For John Q Public you need to get there early, the festivities start around 6 o’clock. The streets are barricaded between 47th and 52nd so you have to walk around to go there. I understand some people go down to the Rock starting around 2-3 pm to get into the general public areas.

The Rockettes perform at the tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center in NYCThe show starts at 7 o’clock with the first hour of the show being televised regionally and the national show coming on NBC at 8 pm. There are both live and taped performances. In between live performances, the stage is being reset with the various holiday looks for each performer. Kelly Pickler, Pentatonix, Billy Porter and the Rockette’s all performed live.

Some of the performers and actors from various NBC shows came through the press area to promote their various projects. Howie Mandel was promoting a new “Deal or No Deal” show to premiere on December 5th following The Voice. The donors of the tree, Shirley Figueroa and Lisette Gutierrez, who were interviewed by The Sarasota Post were there and were extremely nice and thanked us for our interview.

Shirley Figueroa and Lisett Gutierrez donated this year's Christmas tree to Rockefeller Center.As time went by, it was getting a bit chillier and everybody was in full anticipation for the tree lighting. This year they lit the tree at 9:33 p.m. instead of the usual 9:55 p.m. They decided to light the tree and then close the show with a couple of more performances including the iconic Diana Ross. At 9:30 pm, the crowd was at frenzy level, the Rockettes took their place on the stage at the ice rink performing just prior to the tree lighting. Then came the big countdown and they lit up the 72 foot Norway Spruce “Shelby” and she looked amazing!

Everyone was cheering and taking photos, reveling in the spectacle of the season! Everybody’s hard work had paid off. From the tree donors to the crowds on the street, the performers, the workers who cut down the tree, the staff at Rockefeller Center and everyone involved. At the end, the crowd dispersed into the night and until January 7th, the tree will be viewed by millions as part of the spirit of the holidays in New York and around the globe!

Photos courtesy of Vicky Sullivan / The Sarasota Post.

Pin It