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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2016 | by Michael Vadon
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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2016

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a large Christmas tree placed annually in Rockefeller Center, in Midtown Manhattan. The tree is erected in early to mid November and lit in late November or early December. In recent years, the lighting has been broadcast live, nationwide, on NBC's Christmas in Rockefeller Center show and scheduled on a Wednesday after Thanksgiving with the tree lighting ceremony held at the end of every broadcast.[1] The tree, usually a Norway spruce 69 to 100 feet (21 to 30 m) tall, has been put up every year since 1933.[2] The 2015 Christmas Tree Lighting took place on December 2 and remained on display through January 6, 2016.[3]

 

Although the official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933 (the year 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened), the unofficial tradition began during the Depression-era construction of Rockefeller Center, when workers decorated a smaller 20 feet (6.1 m) balsam fir tree with "strings of cranberries, garlands of paper, and even a few tin cans" on Christmas Eve (December 24, 1931), as recounted by Daniel Okrent in his history of Rockefeller Center.[10] One claim is the tree had some gum wrappers and detonator blasting caps as decorations. There was no Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in 1932.[citation needed]

 

The decorated Christmas tree remains lit at Rockefeller Center through January 6, which is the Christian feast of The Epiphany. Then it is removed from the premises and recycled for a variety of uses. In 2007, the tree went "green", employing LED lights.[11] After being taken down, the tree was used to furnish lumber for Habitat for Humanity house construction.[12]

 

The tallest Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was a 100 feet (30 m) spruce erected on November 11, 1999 that was being cared for by Cathy and Jim Thomson.[13]

 

 

The first Tree at Rockefeller Center, erected by construction workers in 1931 shortly after the site was cleared

Since 2011, The tree lighting ceremony was followed by the singing of Joy to the World.

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Taken on December 2, 2016