A New York City Holiday Tradition: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

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Known as a symbol of the holiday season, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a New York City “must see.” The 2016 tree is set to be lit for the first time on Wednesday, November 30, with all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies such an event!

For those of you looking to see the tree first hand, you can find Rockefeller Plaza between West 48th and West 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Be warned, to catch a view on Wednesday means huddling with thousands of onlookers on crowded sidewalks while millions watch it from the comfort of their homes, with hot cocoa and a blanket. It may be easier to take your peek after the initial lighting, as the Tree will remain lit until 9pm on January 7, 2017.


The weather looks to be WET! Rain and clouds will be hovering over the city all night. However, the entertainment for the 2016 lighting is going to be fantastic, and may tempt you into a poncho and rain boots for a night on the town!

Performers for this year’s event include Sarah McLachlan, Tori Kelly, Neil Diamond and of course those holiday favorites: The Radio City Rockettes! You can also expect to hear from Dolly Parton and Tony Bennett too.

This year’s tree, a Norway Spruce, made the trip from Oneonta, New York. It’s ready to shine with 50,000 multi-colored lights and is the second largest tree to grace the plaza.

As been done for the past decade, after the display is finished, the tree will be recycled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

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