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🎄 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

We kicked off the holiday season with the annual lighting in the heart of New York City with Christmas in Rockefeller Center, which aired on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 8-10 p.m.

NBC News' TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin hosted the highly anticipated holiday special. Viewers were treated to festive performances by Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood and more. The evening included a duet featuring Paisley and Thomas and a special performance by the Radio City Rockettes.

To stay informed about the 2021-2022 Tree, sign up for The Center newsletter.

Visiting Hours

The tree will be lit daily from from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, the Tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 6am to 9pm.

Contact & Directions

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112

1. 212.588.8601

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History of the Tree

For more than eight decades, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has stood as a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike. While the lights, decorations, and stars have changed through the years, visiting the Tree remains a quintessential New York experience.

The Christmas Tree FAQs

How big is the Tree?

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a 79ft tall Norway Spruce, 46 feet wide and weighs 12 tons.

How old is the Tree?

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is approximately 85 years old.

Where is this year's Tree from?

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree hails from Elkton, MD.

How many lights are on the Tree?

There are more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights on approximately 5 miles (8 km) of wire.

How big is the star on the Tree?

Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018, the three dimensional Swarovski star weighs approximately 900 pounds (408. 23 kg) and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals.

When does the Tree arrive in New York City?

To allow adequate time for it to be decorated before it’s lit, the Tree will arrive on Saturday, November 13.

How do I watch the Christmas Tree lighting?

Stay tuned for more information about public access to this year’s tree lighting. You are always invited to view the live national broadcast “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” from home on NBC.

When is the Tree lighting?

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, December 1.

When does the Tree come down?

This is yet to be determined, but details about when the Tree will come down will be announced in the coming weeks. To stay informed about all the details, sign up for The Center newsletter.

Visiting Hours

The tree will be lit daily from from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, the Tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 6am to 9pm.

Contact & Directions

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112



Rockefeller Center and its iconic Christmas Tree are the epicenter of holiday celebrations in New York.

Experience the Holidays in NYC

Habitat for Humanity—A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Continuing a longstanding holiday tradition, the 2021 Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, milled, treated, and made into lumber that will be used for home building. A symbol of hope, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree inspired the children’s book, The Carpenter’s Gift, written by David Rubel and illustrated by Jim LaMarche in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.

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Donate Your Tree

Traditionally we've selected a Norway spruce in the later years of its life cycle, measuring at least 75 feet tall and 45 feet in diameter. If you have a Norway spruce you would like us to consider as the centerpiece for this historic Rockefeller Center tradition, we would love to hear from you.

Submit a Tree

The Holidays in The Center Magazine

Featuring seemingly as many holiday happenings as there are lights on the Tree, our Holiday Stories cover past and future events here.

Read Our Stories

Arts & Culture

The Tree Through the Years

Holiday highlights since 1931

Nov 3 2015

Arts & Culture

Meet the Man Who Has Picked the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for Three Decades

Erik Pauze, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center and the man behind the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, gives the inside scoop on bringing holiday magic to 30 Rock.

Nov 5 2021

How was your view from Top of the Rock? Share your experience!


2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Details

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a 12-ton Norway spruce, will arrive and be erected at Rockefeller Center on Saturday, Nov. 13.

By Barbara Russo

Get can’t-miss family activities sent to you!

Nothing says Christmas in New York City quite like the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The 2021 Rock Center tree has been picked out, and we're excited to announce that it's a 12-ton Norway spruce from Elkton, MD that measures in at an impressive 79 feet tall and 46 feet wide! This is the first time ever that the Rock Center tree will come from Maryland.

The majestic tree, which is approximately 85 years old, will be cut on Nov. 11 and is set to arrive at Rock Center on Saturday, Nov. 13. You'll be able to see the tree in all its natural glory that day and in the coming weeks, but you'll have to be patient about seeing it lit up for the holidays! Trimming a tree as big as this is no easy feat, so it'll take workers some time to decorate it before the official Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. After all, there are more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights (that’s nearly 5 miles of lights!) on this tree.

We're as eager as you are to see the tree lit in all its glory, but there's still plenty of holiday fun to be had in the meantime! Go ice-skating at the Rink at Rockefeller Center (opening this weekend!), get some holiday shopping done at Bryant Park's Winter Village, or even head to a local farm to pick out your family's very own real Christmas tree this year!

2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Facts at a Glance

Tree origin Elkton, MD
Tree height 79 feet
Tree width 46 feet
Tree weight 12 tons
Tree age Approx. 85 years
Tree lighting date Wednesday, Dec. 1, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza




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When is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony?

The Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony is on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at 8pm. It will be  broadcast live on Peacock in a special called Christmas in Rockefeller Center. NBC News' TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will host the event.

Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on all NBC-owned television stations and on numerous NBC affiliates from coast to coast, starting at 7pm. This special live hour will be hosted by Access Daily and Access Hollywood's Mario Lopez along with NBC 4 New York's Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery.

This is the 89th year that Rockefeller Center will host the tree lighting ceremony.

Who will perform at this year's tree lighting ceremony?

There will be festive performances by Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood and more. The evening will include a duet featuring Paisley and Thomas and a special performance by the Radio City Rockettes. 

Can the public attend the tree lighting ceremony?

In-person viewing of the tree lighting is restricted capacity with limited views. Attendees must wear a mask. 

When can I see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree this holiday season?

After the lighting ceremony, the Rockefeller Center tree will be lit daily from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, it will stay lit for 24 hours. On New Year's Eve, it will stay lit from 6am-9pm. A closing date has not been announced. 

Where is the tree located?

The Rockefeller Center tree  is located at Rockefeller Plaza, between 48 and 51 Streets, in Manhattan right above the iconic ice-skating Rink at Rockefeller Center.  

How do I get to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree?

The closest subway stop is 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center on the BDFM (it has an elevator, making it a great stop for families with strollers!), though the 5 Avenue-53 St E stop and 49 St station on the NRW are just a few blocks away.

When did the first Christmas tree come to Rockefeller Center? 

The first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was erected in 1931 by construction workers at the Rockefeller Plaza construction site. During the height of the Great Depression, the workers pooled their money together to buy a 20-foot balsam fir, which was then decorated with handmade garlands created by the workers’ families. The following year, Rockefeller Center decided to make the Christmas tree a holiday tradition and held the first tree lighting ceremony.

What happens to the Rockefeller Center tree after Christmas?

Continuing a longstanding tradition, the 2021 Rockefeller Center tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity at the end of the holiday season. The tree will be milled, treated, and made into lumber that will be used to help build affordable homes for families.

For more information, visit, or follow Rock Center on Facebook and Instagram. 

Main photo by lev radin/

Where is the Rockefeller tree? –

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a 12-ton European Spruce, will arrive and be installed at Rockefeller Center on Saturday, November 13th.
A Quick Look at Rockefeller Center's 2021 Christmas Tree Facts.

Tree origin Elkton, MD
Tree width 46 feet
Wood weight 12 tons
Tree age Approx. 85 years old

• December 1, 2021

Also, how long does the Christmas tree hang at Rockefeller Center?

The 2021 Tree of the Year, a 79ft European Spruce, will be felled in Elkton, Maryland on November 11th and delivered to Rockefeller Center on November 13th, 2021. Visiting hours will be daily from 06:12 to 10:00 2022 until January 12, 2022.

Then why was tinsel once banned by the government?

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded in August 1971 that lead tinsel posed an unnecessary risk to children and urged manufacturers and importers to voluntarily cease production or import of lead tinsel after January 1 1972.

So what do they do with the Rockefeller tree after Christmas? Since 2007, after every holiday, the famous tree has been cut down and turned into lumber. The wood is then donated to Habitat for Humanity and the non-profit organization uses the wood to build homes for people in need.

How big is the biggest Christmas tree? The tallest Christmas tree in the world was a 67.36 m (221 ft) tall Douglas fir (Pseudotsga menziesii) installed and decorated at the Northgate Shopping Center, Seattle, Washington, USA, in December 1950.


Is Rockefeller Still Rocking 2022?

Fun fact: The tree lighting ceremony airs every year on NBC and is usually lit by the mayor of New York.

The dates of the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

Year Time day
2022 November 30 Wednesday
2023 November 29 Wednesday
2024 December 4 Wednesday
2025 December 3 Wednesday

How long does a tree burn?

1. 2021. At Christmas, the lights will shine for a full 24 hours. According to the Rockefeller Center website, Christmas tree visiting hours run daily from 6 am to midnight (except New Year's Eve, when they are from 6 am to 9 pm).

On what day does the Rockefeller tree fall in 2022?

The lighting of the Christmas tree took place at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and West 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The lighting ceremony aired on NBC on December 1, 2021 at 8:16 AM. The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center falls on January 20, 2022.

Is it still possible to buy tinsel?

It was originally made of silver.

These purists can still buy vintage silver tinsel from its homeland on Etsy.

Was there lead in the tinsel?

The classic tinsel icicles on many Christmas trees contain lead. It wasn't pure lead. It was an alloy with other metals, sometimes with a shiny pewter finish on top.

In which country did the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree originate?

Trees have been used in rituals and as ornaments since ancient times, making the origin of the modern Christmas tree a subject of controversy. However, many believe that it originated in Germany. It is alleged that in Germany around 723 the English missionary St.

Rockefeller tree bought or donated?

A Christmas Tradition

“Each year, Tishman Speyer generously donates one of the largest and most famous Christmas trees to Habitat,” says Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.

Do they reuse the lights on the Rockefeller tree?

7, and millions of locals and tourists flock to Rockefeller Plaza to bask in its 50,000 lights. While the standard tree rework might not be acceptable for a holiday giant, this giant fan will still be reworked after the season.

How long will the Rockefeller tree stand in 2021?

Don't worry, you have plenty of time to see the tree (assuming you live near New York or your parents accidentally left you there alone, Home Alone 2 style). Last year's tree stood until January 2, 2021, but it looks like it will be up and decorated a little longer this year.

Which US president banned Christmas trees from the White House?

When I was a kid fifty years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt had a bad reputation. We learned that back in the 1900s, he banned Christmas trees from the White House.

Where is the biggest Christmas tree in 2021?

World's tallest indoor Christmas tree

According to Galleria Dallas, their 95-foot indoor Christmas tree is the tallest in the US.

What is the tallest Christmas tree ever put up?

Northgate Center lights up the world's tallest Christmas tree, the 212-foot Douglas Fir, on November 24, 1950.

How much does it cost to light a Rockefeller tree?

45,000 13,500 LED bulbs will only cost $1080 - a bargain compared to retail prices. The tree itself is a Norwegian fir that weighs XNUMX tons and is XNUMX feet tall.

Do you need tickets to see the lighting of the Rockefeller tree?

A Rockefeller Center spokesman confirmed to us, "There are no tickets to view the tree, and no advance booking is required." Instead, there will be a virtual queuing system that will give visitors a QR code upon arrival.

Do you need tickets to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree?

The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink is now open, but tickets must be purchased in advance.

At what time is the Rockefeller tree lit?

Every year it lights up downtown Midtown with its beauty and decorations. By the end of the season, more than 125 million people will have visited the tree, making it the center of the holiday season. The Rockefeller Tree will be illuminated every day from 6:00 am to midnight from December 1 to January.

How long will the Rockefeller tree stand in 2022?

The tree was first brought from Maryland. It will be shrouded in over 50,000 colored lights and crowned with a Swarovski star. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be on public display until Sunday, January 22, 2022.

What time will the 2021 Christmas tree be lit in New York?

If you want to see the beautiful lights at a later date and avoid Wednesday's crowds (although that may still be pretty much inevitable), the 2021 Christmas tree will be lit daily from 6am to midnight. At Christmas, the tree is lit for 24 hours. On New Year's Eve, it burns from 6 am to 9 pm.

How many real trees are sold in the US per year?

Approximately 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the US every year. There are currently about 350 million real Christmas trees growing on Christmas farms in the US alone, all planted by farmers.

What was tinsel made of in the 60s?

However, by the 1960s, awareness of the risks of lead poisoning put an end to lead-based tinsel. The Food and Drug Administration reached an agreement with tinsel importers and manufacturers, ending lead-alloy tinsel in the US in 1972.

How many real Christmas trees are sold in the US per year?

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are currently about 350 million Christmas trees growing on Christmas tree farms in the United States alone, and 25 to 30 million real Christmas trees are sold each year. In 2019About 26 million real Christmas trees were sold in the US last year. Forbes recalls the history of the famous family Why Leo Tolstoy called the Rockefellers the criminals of the century, and how electrification harmed them billionaires. Why is this family famous?

For some (minority) the name Rockefeller is synonymous with business success and the realization of the American dream, for others (majority) - greed, lawlessness and the desire for unlimited power. Many Russian experts mistakenly believe that a negative attitude towards this family developed only in the mid-1970s. In fact, the Rockefellers have always been in the spotlight of the general public, the media and the American authorities.

Thus, President Theodore Roosevelt called the Rockefellers offenders, and Secretary of State William Bryan demanded that the heads of the family be imprisoned. For decades, the most influential prosecutors and investigators in 40 states have been actively digging under the representatives of this clan. It is noteworthy that Leo Tolstoy called the Rockefellers the criminals of the century, arguing that honest people should not work for them. Most often, scientists, trying to explain such a negative attitude towards the Rockefellers, analyze the activities of specific representatives of the clan, ignoring such important factors as the features of the formation and development of capitalism in America and the ethno-political relationships between communities in different historical periods.

"German robbers"

The first major migration of Germans to the New World began back in 1710. The main reasons for the resettlement were the political and religious repression experienced by the Germans in Europe. Most of them settled along the Skohary and Mohawk rivers, where they founded Newburgh, the first ethno-communal settlement of German Puritans. It is noteworthy that the Germans living on the border maintained peaceful relations with the Indians. One of them, the famous Conrad Weiser (a distant relative of the Rockefellers), practically grew up with an Indian tribe. He spoke several Indian dialects and knew their mentality so well that the authorities hired him several times to negotiate with the leaders of different tribes.

In other words, the representatives of the German community already in the early period of settling in the British colonies of the New World demonstrated their entrepreneurial and managerial talents. Because of this extreme activity, there was tension in their relations with other settlers and authorities. Ultimately, bitter conflicts forced large numbers of Germans from the Mohawk River valley to move south into Pennsylvania. This state subsequently became the main center of German immigration. It is important to note that the presence of the Germans in many ways contributed to the development of the foundations of the future American democratic system. As the largest group of non-English-speaking settlers, the Germans refused to accept the authority of the Church of England. To avoid clashes, ethnic and religious groups have developed a culture of restraint and tolerance. While the Germans of the East integrated into the already established political system, in the Midwest their arrival coincided with the civil and political organization of the territories. In the Midwestern states north of Ohio and east of the Mississippi, Germans were one of the major populations, and the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, retained more of its German traits than any other American city.

From the late 1860s, American Germans began to play an important role in business and big business. John Rockefeller, the son of deeply religious German immigrants, became an influential figure not only in America, but also internationally. He was born in one of the largest German settlements of Richford, New York, where children were taught early on to hard work. The religious influence of mother Eliza on her children was so strong that John was destined for the fate of a priest. Had it not been for his father's disability and the need to study accounting to support his family, he most likely would have served God. Loyalty to his community and church has always been an important component of the worldview of the future millionaire: he was a teetotaler, did not gamble, and did not even dance.

Many historians accuse Rockefeller of atoning for numerous sins by the end of his life through philanthropy. However, from early youth, John was involved in church life and regularly gave alms from each salary. In general, Rockefeller's charitable activities have always run parallel to business life. Thanks to his entrepreneurial flair, he became one of the most successful businessmen in the country. However, already in those days, the “Rockefeller factor” became, in many respects, negative for American Germans. When President Benjamin Garrison announced a "hunt" for monopolies, leading federal and regional newspapers wrote about Rockefeller, "who was the son of German migrants, and with his greed ruined the lives of many ordinary Americans."

Things calmed down after the antitrust law was passed, ending the family's sole rule in the oil business. In addition, John ordered that the family fund provide assistance not only to German communities, but also to all those in need. This was done in order to secure the status of an American family that cares about a wide range of problems in their country. Despite all these efforts, Anglo-Saxon America treated the rich clan with great distrust, contempt and envy. For most Americans, the Rockefellers remained German no matter what they did. During the two world wars, the funds of this family provided financial assistance for the formation and supply of the army. In addition, significant funds were allocated to German-language newspapers to promote the interests of the United States and its allies in the German community, in which many sympathized with Germany and supported the policy of its authorities.

It was the representatives of the Rockefellers who at various times helped Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Dwight Eisenhower, two well-known national heroes of America of German origin, in their careers. Newspapers wrote that Nimitz and Eisenhower became symbols of the combination of the German spirit and American patriotism. It is difficult to say whether these German brands could have been promoted without the help of the Rockefellers. On the one hand, their efforts have helped change the majority's perception of American Germans. This, in many ways, helped them get rid of the reputation of "German robbers." On the other hand, the Rockefellers failed to radically get rid of the label of "financial criminals". Even the noble gesture of John Rockefeller Jr., who allocated $ 8.5 million to buy land in New York for the construction of the UN headquarters, did not change the situation.

"The Spirit of Wild American Capitalism"

John D. Rockefeller's achievements led the media to write about him as the first speculator in the American oil market. Since then, this label has also been firmly entrenched in his family. However, the first success in this area belongs to Colonel Edwin Drake. His findings on renewable oil production made a splash among entrepreneurs in 1859. It was Drake who began the practice of buying up land from farmers where oil was found. Moreover, the colonel did not shy away from using physical force and administrative resources against those who did not agree to make a deal. He bought these farms for only $4.37. Drake and his companions were on a real hunt for oil reserves to create kerosene, which they then sold at exorbitant prices to the US government. Rockefeller at this time was busy in the brokerage business in Cleveland, Ohio, and did not have any experience and authority to work in the oil industry.

Even the oil rush didn't hit him at first, as reserves were running out and frequent fires were causing serious damage and panic in industrial business. Moreover, during the transportation of oil, almost as much was lost as was extracted. For these reasons, Rockefeller did not aspire to this sector. He got into the oil business only in 1865 after much persuasion from the chemist Samuel Andrews, who promised his friend John a guaranteed profit. Andrews' innovative approaches and Rockefeller's managerial talent revolutionized the American oil market. By 1870, John Rockefeller had become a multimillionaire. However, it is important to emphasize that this success would not have been possible if John Rockefeller did not own competitive railroad and shipping companies, which he turned into a competitive advantage, realizing that it was logistics that would determine the degree of success of the oil business.

Rockefeller's meteoric success story could have ended when scientist Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb. Electric lighting has become a real threat to the oil refining business, as demand for kerosene has fallen. Moreover, electricity has been found to be less dangerous than using kerosene lamps. It is not surprising that John Rockefeller saw the electrification of America as the beginning of the collapse of all the results of his work. Already at that time he had great means and political influence to eliminate these threats. However, numerous financial injections into lobbyists and other measures did not help him defeat Edison's light bulb. Miraculously, Rockefeller's position was saved by another innovation - the automobile. The decision to master the new concept of individual transport with an internal combustion engine played a decisive role in his success, since gasoline could be obtained from oil. Thus, cars exploded the market and created a huge demand for fuel, because of which the Rockefeller oil empire began to prosper.

Historical justice

Of course, his business was built on corruption schemes. Of course, Rockefeller used every tool available to eliminate his competitors. However, in order to give an objective assessment of the Rockefeller clan, it is necessary to clearly understand in what historical period this empire was formed. First, it was a period of total corruption in local and federal authorities. In other words, by that time, real mechanisms had not yet been developed that would make it possible to conduct an honest and open business. Secondly, the ethnic background of the Rockefellers must be taken into account. At that time, there were many other monopolies in America. However, practically nothing was said about the business of the empire of the Morgans and Astors because of their Anglo-Saxon origin.

For example, John Astor, who was considered an American aristocrat, was an opium smuggler and made a fortune in the dishonest trade with the Indians, pumping them with low-quality rum. The Morgans' millions in income came from land grants from corrupt dealings with local governments. These territories, around which cities later grew, brought them super profits. Thirdly, the political influence of the clan is artificially idealized. It is logical to assume that if the Rockefellers had unlimited influence, they could have prevented the passage of antitrust acts that ruined Standard Oil. Moreover, only one representative of this clan - Nelson Rockefeller - succeeded in politics: he was the governor of New York and vice president of the United States. However, Nelson's example shows both the influence of the clan and its limitations. He took part in three presidential campaigns: at 19In 1960, he finished fourth in the primaries, in 1964 and 1968 he lost the primaries to Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, respectively.

In general, representatives of many financial clans, like the Rockefellers, lobbied their agents of influence in power structures, paid money to state governors, financed political parties and created charitable foundations.

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