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 2, 2015. The Christmas in Rockefeller Center special on NBC at 7:00 p.m. ET, featuring performances from some of the top singers in Hollywood. Performers include Sting, James Taylor featuring Chris Botti, Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli, The Band Perry, Andy Grammer and Carly Rae Jepsen. Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales host the event.
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 2, 2015 at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. The tree will stay lit and open to the public until 8:00 p.m. on January 6, 2015. So, what happens to the tree once it’s taken down? The official website explains:
For the ninth consecutive year, the 2015 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. Each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree continues to be a symbol of hope, and inspired the children’s book, “The Carpenter’s Gift,” written by David Rubel and illustrated by Jim LaMarche in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
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 2, 2015 to help carry on the tradition.