It’s that time of year when the snow starts to fall and people enjoy the holiday festivities! It’s also a time where many visitors spend their Winter in the Big Apple! NYC offers many ways to celebrate the season, from ice skating at Bank of America Winter Village to driving through the NYC Winter Lantern Festival

This season, among the famous sights in NYC, is the good ole lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree which arrived at its new home this week. The Rockefeller Center, a prized cultural center of the arts and beautiful outdoor spaces, runs this event every December! It’s a cherished tradition, and we’re providing you with the latest of this year’s ceremony.

The Norway Spruce arrives for the 2021 Holiday Season. (AP Photo/Dieu-Nalio Chery)

Lighting New York For Decades

The grand tree lighting has its origins in the early 1930s in the heart of the city. According to the Rockefeller Center website, “Workers at Rockefeller Center pooled their money together to buy a Christmas tree. The men decorated the 20-foot high balsam fir with handmade garlands made by their families.” The festivity started as a collective effort that began a historic tradition done in the city that never sleeps.

1933 marks the first year that the Rockefeller Center officiated the ceremony. Later on, an ice skating rink opened in front of where the tree stands. Since then, the center has chosen freshly grown trees each year to be erected in front of the building. Visitors can also still enjoy memorable times skating on the rink today! 

2020 Controversy

In 2020, many people expressed disappointment on social media from the tree chosen for the yearly festivity. These tweets correlated the distress from the events during that year with the state of the tree. One user stated, “Ok [sic] the Rockefeller Center 2020 Christmas Tree is very 2020.” More users like this expressed similar sentiments toward the tree on the platform.

However, some tweets took a more supportive stance on the tree’s look. Another user said, “What did I tell you? The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was looking pretty 2020 at first and [sic] everyone made fun of it but look at it now!” A clip of the tree below the post shows the tree in its prepared state for the lighting ceremony. In other words, many people on Twitter were split with their take on the Rockefeller Center event in 2020.

Christmas Tree Lighting In 2021

2021 marks the 89th tree lighting with a tree coming from the state of Maryland. The tree is a 79-foot Norway spruce and arrived in NYC on November 13th. This tree weighing 12 tons will be the first time the Rockefeller Center will erect a Maryland-native tree. Architect Daniel Libeskind designed the tree’s topper, a star that will have three million crystals studded on it. Tourists and New Yorkers can expect to view the spruce lit up on December 1st. Fans can also enjoy the viewing on NBC Live. 

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Based in Belleair, Florida, Erica brings over 18 years of experience working in marketing and development. She regularly reports on healthcare, finance, real estate, retail, education, and fashion.