Christmas is by far one of the most revered and anticipated holidays of our calendar year. Some enjoy the chance to be surrounded by their family and loved ones, while others get off on the expectation of certain gifts. Children remind their parents and write Santa letters as to insure their good deeds don’t go unnoticed during this giving season. All these holidays bring along their own folklore and traditions. Christmas trees are put up in many homes across the world, but today we’re focusing on a city’s tree. For New York aka “the City” has its own personal and publicly shared communal space to spread Xmas cheers. So, come one, come all to this years: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting!
Rockefeller Center located in the center of midtown Manhattan is a historic landmark and was officially declared one on December 23, 1987. Named after John D. Rockefeller Jr., the sole financier of one of the largest private building projects ever by choosing to construct a complex of 19 commercial buildings between 48th and 51st streets in NYC. Initial plans were to construct an opera house for the Metropolitan Opera, but the stock market crash of 1929 would dictate otherwise.
The project employed over 40,000 people and when Christmas came along in 1931 a tree was put up and decorated by the workers and thus a soon to be publicly shared tradition was born. Construction was undergoing during the depression era after the stock market crash. Officially the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting event has been taking place since 1933, the year 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened. But, construction workers and city hobos actually gathered around what could be unofficially considered the first Christmas tree gathering in 1931 by 30 Rockefeller Center, while 1932 had such a busy construction site that an event was unviable.
Some traditions come and go, while others are more than carved in stone. But, that doesn’t mean innovation or new elements can’t be brought in to the mix every now and then. And with modern times in came NBC for a televised broadcast, now on its 18th annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” telecast which has become a tradition in its own right. So now, every year the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving, Rockefeller Plaza hosts a public event. There will be live performances this December 2nd from 7 to 9 pm while tens of thousands crowd the midtown sidewalks and hundreds of millions watch it live around the world.
This year’s 83rd annual tree lighting from Rockefeller Plaza extravaganza will feature performances by: Pentatonix, Sting, Mary J Blige, Andrea Bocelli, James Taylor, The Band Perry, Carly Rae Jepsen, Andy Grammer, Band of Merrymakers and a special performance by the Rockettes. As well as the main attraction: an 80 year old, 78-foot tall Norway Spruce, weighing approximately 10 tons, from Gardiner, NY; this year’s Christmas Tree!
The tree will be topped by the same Swarovski Star that’s been in use since 2004, designed by the German artist Michael Hammers. And decorated by about 30,000 multicolored LED’s instead of incandescent bulbs, thanks to the “green” shift ordered by then Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007. The decorated Christmas tree will remain in Rockefeller Center till January 6, 2016, which is the day of the Christian feast known as: “Epiphany” or “Three Kings Day”. Celebrating the revelation of God the son as a human being in Jesus Christ.
Element iN Time has its storefront on 46st (just one block away from this event) so stop on by for some Christmas shopping and buy some time for that special someone, or just “Treat Yourself!”.
Thursday we’ll add a new picture with a lit tree!