This year the spectacular Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place in Rockefeller Plaza on Dec 2nd from 7-9pm. The event is free and it is very, very popular so if you want to attend arrive well before 7pm, think 1 pm, to secure a good spot.
Each year a tree is selected for it’s height and symmetry, is then brought to NYC on a special long trailer,hauled into palce, secured with guy ropes and then decked with 45,000 LED lights. Since 2004 it has had a Swarovski Star that is 9 feet in daitmer and whichw eighs 500 lbs sitting on top of the tree.
It remains in place until Jan 7th in 2016 and millions come to see it and the other Christmas decorations in Rockefeller Plaza which is between W 48th and W 51st Streets. The very tall and brilliantly lit Christmas tree of today is a far cry from the very first one which was erected by workers athe site for the Rockefeller Center. It was in the midst of the Depression in 1931 and the tree was just 20 feet high and was decked out with whatever the men could find.
2015 will be the 83rd Annual Tree lighting and the program which NBC broadcasts from 8pm will include Sting, Mary J Blige, Andy Grammar, Andrea Bocelli, The Band Perry, Band of Merrymakers and James Taylor along with lots of other celebs and artists. Of course the world famous Rockettes will aslo be performing as they do every year, Yeah!
Millions watch the tree lighting ceremony on TV, see the video of last year’s tree lighting ceremony. Along with every really huge NYC outdoor event, e.g. this one plus New Year’s Eve and Macy’s thanskgiving Day Parade, you are battling crowds of 2 million+ and the need to arrive very early to get a spot. For the tree lighting you need to arrive at 1pm and by 3pm the Police have erected barricades to stop more people getting close to the tree.
Of course this raises the issue of how do you take toilet breaks. There aren’t any public toilets that are close. Usually people use the toilets at Dean/Deluca or Saks. Obviously children can’t be taken because a wait from 1pm to when the program closes at 9pm is just too long for littlies.
Most people settle for seeing the ceremony on TV a as the msot sensible route to take. And while is, there is undeniably a real thrill in seeing it in person. so rug up securely if you go and think through the food/drink and toilet issues beforehand.