The magnificent 94-foot-tall Norway Spruce, which weighs somewhere between 14 and 18 tons, was put into position high above Rockefeller Center’s ice skating rink on Saturday, November 12, 2016. It had traveled 170 miles from Oneonta, New York, and Angie and Graig Eichler are to be thanked for donating the massive and spectacular tree.
A majestic and huge tree like the Norway Spruce used for this occasion isn’t one that can be found in those proportions growing in a forest, so this special tree usually is one that was specifically planted on someone’s property. There is no compensation in exchange for growing the tree other than the pride of donating it.
It heralds the beginning of the festive and glorious holiday season, is one of the most picture-postcard Christmas scenes in the city, and over half a million people will be passing by it every day in this epicenter of New York City’s holiday celebrations.
Tree Lighting Ceremony and Illumination
The 84th annual tree lighting will be held on Wednesday, November 30, which is typically within the week after Thanksgiving.. The ceremony runs from 7:00 p.m. through 9:00 p.m., and the tree is not actually lit until 8:55 p.m.
The holiday decorations adorning the tree will be five miles of lights and an elegant star that measures almost 10 feet wide and sparkles with 25,000 crystals and LED lights.
The tree will be illuminated from 5:30 a.m. until midnight every day, except that on Christmas it will be lighted for 24 hours, on New Year’s Eve the lights will be turned off at 9:00 p.m., and it will stay lit until 9:00 p.m. on January 7, 2017.
The Tree Lighting event also features live musical performances by a variety of popular artists, the Radio City Rockettes kick their legs high, and there are ice skaters putting on a show in the Rockefeller Ice Rink. Each year many thousands of people crowd the sidewalks for this free and outstanding event, and millions more watch it in a live television broadcast.
After the season ends, the gorgeous tree is usually milled, treated and becomes lumber that Habitat for Humanity makes use of in home building.