The Rockefeller tree has always been a festive icon for New York City. The tree symbolizing that the holiday season is near has brought hundreds of thousands of spectators to the center of Fifth Avenue for the annual tree-lighting ceremony.
The 78-foot-tall icon will bring Christmas cheer to viewers across the county on NBC on Wednesday. Don’t miss out on this historic event. Below are a few interesting facts that you never knew about the Rock Center tree, according to Rockefeller Center:
1) In 1931, amid Rockefeller Center's construction during the worst years of the Great Depression, workers pooled together their money to buy a Christmas tree. The tree was 20 feet tall and decorated by the men’s families with handmade garlands. It was not until later that Rock Center decided to make the tree lighting an annual ceremony. The tree for the first ceremony was 50 feet tall.
2) During World War II, Rockefeller Center displayed three trees instead of one. The largest tree, a 50-foot-tall evergreen from Huntington, sat in the middle. The other trees were both 30 feet tall.
3) By 1950, workers started to use scaffolding to decorate the iconic tree. This process was later a job for 20 men over the course of nine days. This decade was also the first time the Rockefeller tree made a television appearance. After it appeared on The Howdy Doody Show, the tree decorations grew more elaborate each year.
4) In 1960, the festive tree spent three weeks on holiday display. That 60-foot Norway spruce was later donated to a boy scout troop.
5) In 1998, a 73-foot-tall tree was flown to New York City in the world’s largest transport plane in Richfield, Ohio. The next year, Rockefeller Center displayed its largest tree in history, a 100 feet tall from Killingworth, Connecticut.
6) In December 2001, the tree was decorated in red white and blue following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
7) Starting in 2004, a Swarovski-made star has been placed atop the tree. The star weighs 550 pounds and features 25,000 crystals. Beginning in 2005, the tree was strung with LED lights.
The tree lighting ceremony is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Rockefeller Center. The festive centerpiece will remain lit through Jan. 6.