The Citiblog

The Lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Kicks Off the Holiday Season in NYC
November 30, 2023, 1:08.25 am ET


Photos: Diane Bonderaff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer

It’s an annual tradition, the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. This year is no exception as the 80-Foot tall, 12-ton Norway Spruce was lit, setting the stage for the holiday season. This year’s tree is lit with more that 50,000 LED lights stretch five mile and a 900-pound Swarovski star covered in more than 3 million crystals. The tree will remain lit through early January.

This year’s ceremony was marked by a performance by Kelly Clarkson and the Radio City Rockettes. New York City Mayor Eric Adams flipped the switch that lit the tree as the Young People’s Chorus sang “joy to the world. Cher also performed with longtime friend Darlene Love, along with Keke Palmer.

The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been an annual tradition since 1931 when construction workers who built Rockefeller Center lit the first tree. This year’s tree was donated by a family from Vestal, New York and is believed to be 80 to 85 years old.

When the Rockefeller Center Christas Tree is finally taken down it will be milled for lumber for Habitat for Humanity where it will be used to help build affordable housing.