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The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is one of New York City’s most beloved holiday traditions! The very first Rockefeller Center tree appeared in 1931(opens in a new tab), the height of the Great Depression. Rockefeller Center was in the process of being built, and the workers were thankful for the employment. To make the most of the holiday season, the workers erected a 20-foot tall Christmas tree, decorated it with garlands made of cranberries and a few tin cans, and sang Christmas carols. Two years later another tree was erected, and it’s been a tradition ever since, one that’s been televised since 1951! The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting has certainly come a long way since 1931, and this year’s tree promises to delight visitors from around the world, in a safe and socially distanced way!

2020 Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting

The 2020 Rockefeller Center tree lighting(opens in a new tab) may look different than other years, but will still remain an important part of the city’s celebrations. The 75-foot tall Norwegian Spruce Tree arrived at Rockefeller Center on November 14th and will be lit on December 2nd. The thousands of people who normally cram into Rockefeller Plaza to be the tree’s very first in-person viewers, will watch from the comfort of their own homes. Kelly Clarkson, Dolly Parton, Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor, and more, will serenade in the Christmas season as part of the broadcast.

Quick Facts about the 2020 Rockefeller Tree

This year’s tree(opens in a new tab) came from Oneonta, New York. It is 75 feet tall, weighs 11 tons, and is somewhere between 75-80 years old! There will be more than 5 miles of lights wound around the tree’s boughs, illuminating Rockefeller Plaza. If the star on top seems as bright as a comet that is probably because it is covered in 3 million crystals and weighs nearly 900 pounds!

Rockefeller the Owl

An adorable saw-whet owl was found in the branches of this year’s Christmas tree. Saw-whet owls are tiny birds, approximately the size of a robin!  The owl was named Rockefeller, and sent to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center(opens in a new tab), which aims to rescue, rehabilitate, and release local wildlife back to their natural habitats. You will be thrilled to know that Rockefeller was successfully released back into the wild, where he will be happily enjoying the Christmas season!

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