MANHATTAN (PIX11) — With the flip of a switch, it is officially the holiday season in New York City. Rockefeller Center’s 90th annual tree-lighting ceremony took place Wednesday night.
At the heart of it is a majestic Norway Spruce standing 82 feet tall and 50 feet wide. There are more than 50,000 muti-colored LED lights on 5 miles of wire and, on top, a 900-pound star made up of 3 million Swarovski crystals. A family from Queensbury, New York, donated this year’s center attraction. It’s believed to be 85 to 90 years old.
The rain earlier in the day dampened city sidewalks but not the holiday spirit.
It all dried out just in time for the lighting. All this comes amid tight security and street closures. A large crowd gathered in the Plaza to catch the big moment the lights went on.
The tree will be lit daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. On Christmas day, it will stay bright for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. After the holiday season, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity to be milled into lumber so the organization can build more affordable homes.