It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Midtown Manhattan.
The iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit Wednesday night in front of a festive audience —COVID-19 restrictions kept crowds home.
This year’s tree — a 79-foot tall Norway Spruce — was decorated with 50,000 lights and topped with a dazzling 900-pound star made with 3 million Swarovski crystals after being brought to Manhattan from Maryland on a flatbed truck.
Singers like Jose Feliciano, Harry Connick Jr, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley and Rob Thomas serenaded the crowd with Christmas carols. The Radio City Rockettes kicked things up a notch with their annual number that preceded the big moment just before 10 p.m.
The tree was officially illuminated by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio and Tishman Syper CEO Rob Speyer, whose company owns and operates Rockefeller Center.
Across the country, millions were watching NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special, and weighing in on social media.
“Omg! Mom! Come quick! The fancy sisters are kicking! THEY’RE KICKING UP HIGH! And smiling! Probably bc they’re all so fancy!,”about her six year old’s reaction to the iconic dancers.
“My Wednesday night happiness is watching the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on tv and singing along to the holiday music,”.
Not everyone was thrilled with the two-hour show — which repeated some musical acts, including two remote Carrie Underwood performances broadcasted from Nashville.
“This stretched out commercial for Peacock puts the tree lighting beyond the bedtime of most of the children who would enjoy the actual lighting the most. Shame,”.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden also joined the show remotely and told the audience in a videotaped message about how construction workers pooled their own money to buy the first Rockefeller Center tree during the Great Depression.
“Merry Christmas everyone. Jill and I are honored to be part of this special New York City tradition; a great American tradition,” President Biden said.
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