Rockefeller Tree Lighting Becomes 80th Annual Ceremony

Thousands of spectators came to Rockefeller Center to witness its 80th annual tree lighting ceremony.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, spectators were mesmerized as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others lit the 80-foot Norway spruce. Those who did not have a good view of the tree could enjoy the ceremony via video screen.

“It makes me want to sing and dance,” said Zuri Young, who came several hours early with her boyfriend to watch the lighting for the first time.

“I’ve heard a lot about it. I was kind of sick of staying home and watching it on television,” the 19-year-old nursing student from Queens said.

The Mount Olive, N.J., spruce was illuminated with over 30,000 lights, and topped with a Swarovski crystal star.

“It’s an experience that I cannot get back home,” said Freyja Shairp, a 22-year-old from Sydney, Australia, who is working in the U.S. temporarily.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will remain lit through January 6, which is the Christian feast of The Epiphany. When it is removed, it will be recycled for a variety of uses.

In 2007, they began using LED lights in order to save energy, and when it was taken down the lumber was used by Habitat for Humanity to build homes.

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