Thousands of people were walking around, sipping hot chocolate and laughing with friends while patiently waiting for the 83rd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting in Manhattan, NY to begin. This annual ceremony is televised, and it is known as the official kick-off to the holiday season in New York City.
I met visitors from Ireland, China, and Africa who were among the thousands of tourists who wanted to witness and be a part of this festive event. Naturally, mingling in the crowd, were New Yorkers who attend every year and has incorporated The Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony as a part of their family holiday tradition.
There was lots of excitement in the air as people gathered around the stage to see all of the live concerts with performances by some of the most famous singers in the music industry!
The crowd roared as Mary J. Blige came on the stage. She sang her famous song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Mary J. Blige looked beautiful, and I enjoyed her performance. As a fan of Mary J. Blige, I have bought and listened to her music over the years, but nothing beats watching her perform live! It was exhilarating, and I was thrilled! Mary J. Blige, if you are reading my blog…You are awesome!
There were additional performances by Carly Rae Jepsen, James Taylor featuring Chris Botti, Sting, Andrea Bocelli, The Band Perry, Andy Grammer, Pentatonix, Band of Merrymakers and the Rockettes! They were equally greeted by the crowd with loud cheers, clapping and sporadic long-winded whistling. The atmosphere was lively and very energetic! People were having a wonderful time, slightly dancing and singing along to the music.
It was 60 degrees, and it began to drizzle, but the weather did not detour anyone from leaving the fun-filled festivities. Suddenly the crowd started counting down 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Jerry Speyer, Bob Speyer and actress Jaimie Alexander pressed the button, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree finally lit up! It was exhilarating!
It was spectacular! All 45,000 bright LED bulbs lighted up the tall 85 ft. Christmas Tree. The tree was breathtaking, and it was indeed a beautiful moment.
The tree lighting unofficially originated out of the Great Depression era. According to the historical documentation of Daniel Okrent, in 1931, construction workers who built the Rockefeller Center decided to celebrate their hard work by decorating a small tree during the Christmas season at their place of employment. Two years later, the ceremony became official and is now a worldwide symbol celebrating the holiday season in New York City.
If you are traveling to New York City on your next vacation, be sure to stop by The Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas Tree. It will be available to be viewed by the public for the duration of the holiday season, up until January 7th.
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