New York today fulfilled the tradition of lighting the Christmas tree lights of the Rockefeller Center, an act that is already 85 years old and marks the beginning of the Christmas festivities in the city.
On this occasion, the event that is organized around the lights of the spectacular tree, which this year is 22 meters high, featured musical performances by stars of the likes of Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall and John Legend.
Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, Martina McBride, Pentatonix Kellie Pickler and Howie Mandel also participated in the show, whose relevance led to the fact that the vehicle traffic was cut throughout the afternoon to a large area of downtown Manhattan, where the Rockefeller.
The Norwegian fir tree was transported this time from the town of Wallkill, an hour and a half from the city of New York, where it had grown for the last 75 years on land now owned by Shirley Figueroa and Lissette Gutierrez, a couple of women of Puerto Rican origin.
The fir tree, weighing 12 tons, thus becomes Rockefeller’s first Christmas tree to come from gay or Latina women.
Another novelty this year is the big star of almost three meters high that decorates the tip of the tree, which is made of three million Swarovski crystals and was designed by the renowned Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind.
In addition, more than 8 kilometers of cables with tens of thousands of lights wrap the tree from today and until January 7, which will light daily from 17.30 to 23.30, except for December 25, when they will remain lit 24 hours .
After January 7, the towering spruce will be cut and donated to Habitat for Humanity, an American NGO founded in 1976 that builds homes for the needy all over the world.
The first Christmas tree that was installed in the place was placed in 1931 by construction workers at the site where the Rockefeller Center was being erected.
The first formal lighting ceremony on Monday was held in 1933, and the tradition has been maintained since then with some variations.
Sometimes there have been two pines placed, but in 1942 there were three, decorated with red, white and blue balls, to give support to the troops that fought in World War II.
The trees of that year and those that were placed in the successive Christmases, until the end of the war, were not adorned with lights because of the regulations that governed by the armed conflict.
The same patriotic colors of the 1942 tree were used to decorate the Christmas pine of 2001, the first after the attacks of September 11 of that year.
The highest tree that has been placed so far was the one that was installed in 1999, 30.5 meters, originally from the town of Killingworth, in the state of Connecticut. (EFEUSA) .-