Thousands attend Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit at Rockefeller Center during the 84th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. The 94-foot Norway spruce is covered with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit at Rockefeller Center during the 84th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. The 94-foot Norway spruce is covered with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of rain-drenched revelers gathered in midtown Manhattan Wednesday night to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch just before 9 p.m., illuminating the 94-foot tall, 14-ton Norway spruce with 50,000 multicolored LED bulbs on 5 miles of wires. The tree is topped with a Swarovski star.

The 84th annual ceremony was televised by NBC and included performances by Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Kelly and the Radio City Rockettes.

Security at the event was tight. Spectators were urged to use mass transit and umbrellas, backpacks and large bags were prohibited.

The holiday tradition started in 1931. This year’s tree came from the backyard of Angie and Graig Eichler in the northern foothills of New York’s Catskill mountain range.

Angie Eichler said their family has come almost every year to see the Rockefeller Center tree — but she never dreamed it would be theirs.

The tree will be lit every day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. until Jan. 7. On Christmas Day the lights will be on 24 hours.

After the holidays, the tree will be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

___

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s