The most famous Christmas tree in the world is from Pennsylvania. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was illuminated at 8:55 p.m. on Nov. 29 during an extravagant ceremony featuring performances by Gwen Stefani, Pentatonix and Harry Connick Jr.
This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, an enormous, 12-ton Norway spruce, made the journey from State College, PA, to Midtown. More than 50,000 LED lights decorate the Norway Spruce, which grew up in State College at the home of Jason Perrin. It is topped with a massive star made up of 25,000 Swarovski crystals.
The tree has been a Midtown fixture for eight decades, with the first official one going on display in 1933. Erik Pauze, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center, has apparently had his eye on this particular Norway spruce—which is estimated to be around 80 years old—for going on seven years; it was finally ready to meet its festive maker this year.
To get to New York, the tree was first cut down in Pennsylvania, then driven the approximately 240 miles from there to Rockefeller Center. In order to put it into place above the plaza’s ice-skating rink, a huge spike was driven into the tree’s stump, and a crane then lifted it into place.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with Tishman Speyer EO Rob Speyer, Tishman Speyer Chairman Jerry Speyer and NBC anchor Lester Holt performed the lighting duties.
More than 800,000 people are expected to see the tree every day during the holiday season.