New Yorkers aren’t known to be the most pleasant people around, and even the sight of the gorgeous Rockefeller Christmas tree — seriously, how tall is it anyways? — won’t do much to curtail a city native for mumbling something about tourists if you get in their way while admiring the towering, evergreen conifer.
And although I’ve been late to meetings and events thanks to a combination of MTA unreliability and slow-footed tourists, and even though I’ve seen the Rockefeller Center tree dozens of times, even I have to admit the thing is pretty awe-inspiring.
If you just let that Christmas cheer in, and are maybe under the influence of a little something of your choice, gazing at the lights on this annual masterpiece can make you feel all warm and fuzzy. And it’s been having that effect on people for a very long time, since 1933 to be exact.
Here’s a few things you should know about the 86th tree to go up in New York City that’ll soon be the toast of everyone’s Instagram account.
Where is the Rockefeller Center Tree from this year?
A Norway Spruce has been chosen as the ginormous plant that’ll represent NYC’s yuletide cheer for 2018, but it doesn’t hail from the land of ice and snow. No, it comes from the grounds of State College in Pennsylvania.
How tall is the Rockefeller Christmas tree?
There are some stipulations that the Rockefeller tree must follow: it can’t be shorter than 65 feet in height, or smaller than 35 feet in width, this year’s tree is a whopping 75 feet tall. Now if you think that’s big, then you must’ve forgotten about the one chilling in Rockefeller Center in 1999: it was 100 feet tall!
So, how many lights will the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree have?
If you’ve ever seen the tree, then you know NY goes hard when it comes to making it shine, and 2018 will be no different. The Norway Spruce is going to be fitted with some 50,000 lights, so it’ll be big, bright, and beautiful.
How much does the star on the famed tree weigh?
Swarovski is providing the star for this year’s tree, like they have been since 2004. It weighs a whopping 550 lbs, or, my bench press warm-up. It’s 9.5 in diameter and is loaded with some 25,000 crystals a million facets, and LED lights to make for a truly dazzling experience. If you’re wondering who designed such an amazing piece, you can thank German artist Michael Hammers.
When does the Rockefeller tree get taken down?
The tree will be lit up for the first time this year on Wednesday, November 28th. To kick off the tree lighting ceremony, there’ll be live band performances between 7-9 p.m. EST, at Rockefeller Plaza. If you’re planning on going, make sure you bundle up!
Now if you’re worried about not having enough time to check the tree out in person, or if grouchily wondering how long you’ll have to deal with people snapping selfies in front of the big tree, then either fret not or fret away, because it’ll be up until January 7, 2019.
Don’t forget about the Rockefeller Center skating rink!
You’ve seen it in countless movies and TV shows, and mentioned in a bunch of novels: the Rink at Rockefeller Center. It’s almost as old as the tree lighting ceremony itself: it was officially opened in 1936 and New Yorkers, tourists, and film production companies alike have been enjoying it ever since.
What happens to the Rockefeller tree after it’s taken down?
After the tree’s been uprooted for what’s basically a gigantic, temporal decoration, it’ll be donated to Habitat for Humanity to be used for constructing homes for those in need. This practice was started in 2007 and has been going strong ever since.
Are you planning on checking out the tree this Christmas season? If so, may your photos of the splendid holiday sight be absolutely wonderful. And if you’re worried about the added foot traffic to your commute, I can only suggest you get out of the house a little earlier and suck it up for the Holidays by pretending to enjoy it. Merry Christmas!