Every year, Rockefeller Center has a big ceremony for their legendary Christmas tree lighting. This year, the tree will go up and the lighting will take place on December 3, 2014. The Christmas in Rockefeller Center special on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET, featuring performances from some of the top singers in Hollywood. Performers include Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper, Seth MacFarlane featuring Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood. NBC writes:
The highlight of the 82nd annual celebration will be the lighting of an 85-foot tall Norway Spruce from Hemlock Township, Penn. It is approximately 90 years old and weighs approximately 13 tons.
The ceremony is free for the public and space is available on a first-come basis. Visiting hours to see the tree are daily 5:30 a.m. – Midnight
starting December 3, 2014 at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. The tree will stay lit and open to the public until 8:00 p.m. on January 7, 2015. So, what happens to the tree once it’s taken down? Rockefeller Center reports:
For the eighth consecutive year, the Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Once the holidays have passed and crowds have dispersed, the tree comes down and is milled, treated and made into lumber that is used for home building. Last year’s tree was used to help build exterior and interior walls for a home in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
As for the history behind the tree:
For over seven decades, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and the holiday decorations adorning and surrounding have stood as a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike. From the beginning, the Tree was a gathering place and reflection of what was happening in the world around it. Even before the first formal tree went up, workers lined up beneath a Christmas tree on the Rockefeller Plaza construction site to collect their paychecks during the height of the Great Depression. People from around the world came after September 11th to see the Tree decorated in a patriotic red, white and blue.
Tune in on December 3, 2014 to help carry on the tradition.