With a flick of the switch, a 76-foot Norway Spruce officially became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree after it was illuminated for the first time this holiday season in a ceremony that's been held since 1933.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the lights just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, setting off a dazzling 45,000 multi-colored LED lights and a 9 1/2-foot-wide Swarovski star that topped the 12-ton tree.Artists such as Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis performed. Carey sang her holiday staple, "All I Want For Christmas is You."
Carey is no stranger to Christmas. She has released holiday albums and decks her home out every year for the holidays. "My wife is the empress of Christmas,” Carey's husband, Nick Cannon, told the Chicago Tribune last month. “She is Mrs. Christmas. She puts the M.C. in Merry Christmas.”
The approximately 75-year-old tree made the 70-mile trip to New York City on a tractor-trailer from its home in Shelton, Conn., last month.
Danbury, Conn., resident Mary Hynes, 60, declared the show to be "outstanding."
"The excitement of the crowd, the brilliance of the lights. It was great," she said.
personalities Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales
co-hosted "Christmas in Rockefeller Center."
They dedicated the broadcast to James Lovell, 58, a married father of four and a sound and lighting expert who worked on the tree. Lovell was one of four people killed when a Metro-North commuter train derailed in the Bronx on Sunday. He was on his way to work on the tree when the accident occurred.
The tree will be on display until Jan. 7. After that it's donated to Habitat for Humanity for lumber.