New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights just before 9 p.m. on Wednesday, setting off a dazzling 45,000 multi-colored LED lights and a 9 ½-foot-wide Swarovski star that topped the 12-ton tree.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas was illuminated for the first time this holiday season in a ceremony that’s been held since 1933
The holiday event in midtown Manhattan also was watched by millions on television. The tree will be on display until January 7, after which it’ll be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.
Artists such as Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis performed.
The approximately 75-year-old tree made the 70-mile trip to New York City on a tractor-trailer from its home in Shelton, Connecticut, last month.
Today Show’s Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales co-hosted “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” which aired on NBC.
They dedicated the broadcast to James Lovell, 58, a married father of four and a sound and lighting expert who worked on the tree.
James Lovell was one of four people killed when a Metro-North commuter train derailed in Bronx area on Sunday. He was on his way to work on the tree when the accident occurred.