Lighting the Tree at Rockefeller Center
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Lighting the Tree at Rockefeller Center

New York City : NY : USA | Nov 30, 2010 at 6:07 PM PST
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Rockefeller Center

For over 80 years the official signal for the beginning of the Christmas/holiday season came with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For decades millions of fans lined the streets to help usher in the holiday season.

In 1931 the very first Christmas tree appeared in Rockefeller Center and ever since the lighting of the tree has joined Macy’s and Santa to signal a season of lights, decorations, gifts, and holiday music.

In 2010 the lighting of the Rockefeller tree – a 74 foot Norwegian Spruce – fell on Nivember 30 and was accompanied by music from some of the top musicians on the charts.

The program kicked off with a spike heel shod Mariah Carey singing “Oh Santa”. “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” was hosted by Natalie Morales and Al Roker. Half a million people enjoyed the warm fall temperatures (56F) and music as they waited for the tree to light up. Kylie Minogue gave her rendition of the holiday classic “Let it Snow”. Kylie was followed by the R&B group Boyz II Men with “This Christmas”.

Despite a little technical difficulty with the music, Philippine teen sensation Charice and David Foster performed “Jingle Bell Rock”. Scotish singing sensation Susan Boyle sang “Away in a Manger” accompanied by a children’s choir. Nine time Grammy Award winning singer Sheryl Crow sang her version of the holiday classic “Blue Christmas”.

The angelic voices of Katherine Jenkins and 10 year old “America’s Got Talent” star Jackie Evancho combined to perform “Silent Night”. NBC news anchor Brian Williams made a visit to Rockefeller Center to help introduce classical singing sensation Josh Groban who performed “Bells of New York City” as he played the piano and was accompanied by a bell choir.

British singer Annie Lennox put her unique spin on an old English classic carol, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. Kicking up their heels to help in the holiday cheer were the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.

The final musical performance of the night gave a special meaning to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” as Jessica Simpson was joined by Petty Office John Britt who is stationed on the USS Harry Truman which is currently at sea.

Adorned with over 36,000 lights and topped with a star, the tree was lit. The tree will remain lit until the new year when it will then be donated to Habitat for Humanity to use in constructing homes.

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lighting the tree at Rockefeller Center
Sherrill Fulghum is based in Niagara Falls, New York, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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