NYC – 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony – New York City

2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting & Other Events

87th Annual Tree Lighting Celebration

Taking place Wednesday, December 4, 2019

at the Rockefeller Plaza Rink
between West 48th and 51st Streets
and betw. 5th and 6th Avenues

Broadcast from 8:00 – 10:00 pm

Anchored and hosted by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, Al Roker 

Expected to appear and perform are Chicago, Brett Eldredge, Derek & Julianne Hough, John Legend, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, NE-YO, Gwen Stefani, Straight No Chaser, Skylar Astin & Alex Newell.

This year’s tree, a 77 foot Norway Spruce came from Florida, New York

Yours truly has been at this event in the past as part of the press and I’ve got to be honest. As with so many other big events like this, you’ll be corralled like cattle into enclosures within the area. With the exception of a locale or two, where you might be able to see the tree itself lit up, you will not have an actual line of sight view of the festivities, rather you’ll be fed what’s happening through screens positioned within the area. You’ll be standing there for hours sans a restroom and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how a good number of the performances aren’t even live; nope, they’re pre-recorded. So please keep all of that in mind. Oh yeah, and of course there’s the obvious: the wonderful massive crowds. Honestly, not our cup of tea. But hey! It might be yours. So if it is, Enjoy!

Last year’s tree (2018) arrived from Wallkill, NY and was 75 years old and 72 feet tall and 45 feet in diameter.

The prior year’s (2017) tree, a Norway Spruce came to us from State College, Pennsylvania.

The more than 50,000 multi-colored, energy efficient LED lights on the 72-foot-tall Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit on Wednesday, November 28th.

Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin will co-host Christmas in Rockefeller Center from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Mario Lopez, Stefan Holt, and Natalie Pasquarella will host an additional hour of the special from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. The program will include live performances from Pentatonix, Darci Lynne Farmer, and Kellie Pickler, and a special appearance by Howie Mandel; additional performances from Diana Ross, Tony Bennett & Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, John Legend, and Martina McBride.


46th Annual Merry Tuba Christmas

The Rink at Rockefeller Center on
Sunday, December 15, 2019
3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

They’re set to play Christmas carols and other crowd favorites. The tubists of all ages will line up under the great Christmas tree and fill the area with the organ-line sound of low brass.  Spectators will be encouraged to become an important part of the concert by singing along with the Christmas carols and famous songs.

“”Recruited from throughout the greater New York City area, the musicians will be conducted by Chris Wilhjelm, conductor of the famous Goldman band. Conceived by tuba virtuoso Harvey Phillips to honor his teacher, the late William J. Bell (Born Christmas Day, 1902), the first Tuba Christmas was presented at Rockefeller Center in 1974, conducted by Paul LaValle, of Band of America fame.  This unusual Christmas tradition is firmly established in over 200 cities around the world.””

Mind you the Tuba performances at Rockefeller won’t be the only one around. Here below is a quick list of those taking place at other locations beyond our New York City borders:

Stay tuned for updates on the following:

Within New York State:

Empire State Plaza Ice Rink in Albany, NY
Sunday, December 8

Eastern Hills Mall in Williamsville, Buffalo, NY
Saturday, December 14

Oakdale Mall in Binghamton, NY
Saturday, December 14

Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre in Rochester, NY
Sunday, December 15

College Lounge in Stone Ridge, NY
Saturday, December 7

Queensbury High School in Queensbury, NY
Saturday, December 14

North Syracuse Junior High School in Syracuse, NY
No listing found

Within New Jersey

Princeton Market Fair Mall in Princeton, NJ
Saturday, December 7

Auditorium of Woodstown High School in Woodstown, NJ
Sunday, December 15

West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, NJ
Saturday, December 8

Morristown Green in Morristown, NJ
Saturday, December 21

Warren County Courthouse in Belvidere, NJ
Listing not found

Within Connecticut

Old Saybrook High School in Old Saybrook, CT
Saturday, December 7

Trinity on Main in New Britain, CT
Saturday, December 14

Within Pennsylvania

Penn Square, Downtown Lancaster in Lancaster, PA
Friday, November 29

North Hanover Mall in Hanover, PA
Saturday, November 30

Goodwin Performing Arts Center in Waynesburg, PA
Friday, December 6

Washington Crown Center Mall in Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday, December 14

Scottish Rite Cathedral in Reading, PA
Saturday, December 7

Railroad Plaza, Main Street in Lansdale, PA
Sunday, December 8

Viemont Mall in Bloomsburg, PA
Listing not found

Mitrani Hall-Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA
Saturday, December 7

Lycoming Mall in Williamsport, PA
Saturday, December 7

Reed Union in Erie, PA
Saturday, December 7

Washington Crown Center Mall in Pittsburgh, PA
Saturday, December 14

Hershey Middle School in Hershey, PA
Friday, December 13

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, PA
Sunday, December 15



Here's a 2004 photo of the tree at Rockefeller Center on the evening following the grand lighting in NYC.
Here’s a 2004 photo of the tree at Rockefeller Center on the evening following the grand lighting in NYC.
Below is a 2005 photo of the 74 foot Spruce from Wayne, NJ. All 9 tons of it was quite the beaut!
Above is a 2005 photo of the 74 foot Spruce from Wayne, NJ. All 9 tons of it was quite the beaut!
‘And here is a pic of a previous year’s (2006) tree. All 88 feet of it is a heck of alot better looking than trees in previous years. It’s so nicely rounded and full. Yup! All 9 tons of it with width of 45 feet!
Here is the 2003 Rockefeller Christmas Tree on the day after it was lit, December 4th, 2003.
Here is the 2003 Rockefeller Christmas Tree on the day after it was lit, December 4th, 2003.
2002 Photo of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Here is the 2002, 75 year old, 76 foot, 7 ton, 43-foot wide tree which was brought in from Carmine and Mary Rizzo’s property in Bloomsbury, N.J.
2002 Photo of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller
Here is the 2002, 75 year old, 76 foot, 7 ton, 43-foot wide tree which was brought in from Carmine and Mary Rizzo’s property in Bloomsbury, N.J.
The 2001 Christmas Tree at Rockefeller
The 2001 Christmas Tree at Rockefeller
Skaters gliding underneath the 2001 Tree.
Skaters gliding underneath the 2001 Tree.



The following is from the past

The 2016 Tree

2016’s Christmas Tree came from Oneonta, New York. It was cut down on November 10 and arrived in midtown Manhattan on November 12. According to the Daily Star News which hails from the local area the giant Spruce came to us from Angie and Graig Eichler’s backyard along Country Club Road.



About Last Year’s Tree (2012)

It’ll be an 80 ft Norway Spruce and will be coming from Joseph Balku’s home in Morris County, New Jersey. The 10 ton and 50 foot in diameter tree will be hoisted by crane onto a trailer which will transport it to Manhattan.
November 14 Update:
The Tree had arrived at Rockefeller already.

The 2011 Tree

A 75 Foot Tall Spruce from Mifflinville, Pennsylvania is this year’s chosen tree.
It’ll be the first time that a tree had been selected from that state to become the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
The 46 foot wide tree had been cut on Wednesday, November 9 and was hoisted by crane onto a 115 foot trailer on which it was driven to NYC for a Friday, November 11 morning arrival.


Being a military wife, Nancy Keller has lived all over the United States – from Alabama to Alaska – but Mifflinville, Pennsylvania has always been home.  It is here, where she grew up, went to high school and met her late husband, Doyle Keller, that she and three more generations of her family have made a home.

Doyle served stateside in the United States Air Force for 20 years.  His years in the military brought a number of moves for him, Nancy and their daughter, Debra Keller.  In 1969, right before Debra started her junior year of high school, Nancy and Debra returned to Mifflinville and were soon followed by Doyle when he retired in 1970.

Since their return to Mifflinville 42 years ago, the Kellers have added two more generations to the family tree.  Debra’s two sons, Billy and Mitch Crawford, 39 and 21 years old respectively, both live within minutes of Mifflinville.  Billy and wife Keri Crawford have two daughters, Olivia and Emma, 11 and 8 years old respectively.

When Nancy and Doyle moved onto the property where the tree resides in 1985, Doyle wanted nothing to do with the massive tree situated next to the house and even suggested cutting it down.  It took some convincing by the family, but with the help of some trimming, a little love and some very tall ladders Doyle was won over and the tree became a part of the landscape that everyone enjoyed.

“I had poked around the website to see how to nominate our tree but never filled out the application,” said Debra who now lives in the house next door to her mom in Mifflinville.  “You can imagine our surprise when we got a knock on the door from Rockefeller Center’s head gardener.”

This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree arrived at Rockefeller Plaza on November 11, Veteran’s Day, which seems just right to Nancy.  “Doyle’s time in the Air Force and his being a veteran was a big part of who he was – who our family is.  I know he would have enjoyed all of the enthusiasm around our tree being chosen and would have really enjoyed seeing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren so excited.”

The tree was first spotted by the Rockefeller Center team during a routine drive down I-80.  Rockefeller Center’s head gardener saw the tree out of the corner of his eye from the driver’s seat.  Even from hundreds of yards away the 74- foot tall Norway Spruce made quite an impression.
As a Christmas present every year Debra takes her granddaughters to New York City.  The trip is full of holiday traditions – they go to a show, have lunch at the girls’ favorite restaurants, and shop at their favorite stores.  The highlight of the annual vacation is always the visit to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which this year will be their own.

“To be honest it won’t be sad to see the tree go,” Debra said.  “We just feel honored that the tree was chosen and will be enjoyed by so many people when it’s sitting in the middle of Rockefeller Center.”

Christmas Tree Lighting
& Ice Show
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
beginning at 7:00 pm
Don’t forget, if you plan to be there
then show up plenty early since the crowds will be phenomenal. 

Hosting will be Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie

Celebrities to be featured this year:
Through Live and taped performances at the star-studded tree lighting celebration:
Tony Bennett, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, Cee Lo Green, Faith Hill, Carole King, Katharine McPhee, Javier Colon, Megan Hill & Others.

The tree is to be illuminated from 5:30 am – 11:30 pm daily, all day (24 hours) on Christmas Day and 5:30 am – 9:00 pm on New Year’s Eve. The world’s most famous tree will be on display until early January, 2012.  For more information, the public can call 212-632-3975.

As with all other public events in NYC, the crowd forms awfully early, so if you plan to be there then you know what to do since the crowd will of course be huge. The tree will remain lit until early January 8, 2007. Enjoy!

Where else on earth will thousands and thousands gather for the lighting a single tree? NYC’s Rockefeller Center, that’s where! Join in this fantastic event which is televised nationwide and perhaps even across the seas. Entertainment, Singing, and yes, our Mayor too! The tallest tree so far was the 100-foot Norway Spruce from Killingworth, Conn. in 1948. Maybe this year’s will be taller? Over 25,000 lightbulbs are used to light the tree. Amazing huh? They span a distance of over 5 miles.

The event which is televised nationwide and has local Television Stars amongst others. The Mayor himself would often take part in this yearly tradition.

Some Historical Milestones:

  • 1931 – Workmen on a muddy construction site put up the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. At the time of the Depression, the workmen placed the tree amidst the construction, proud to have the tree on the site of their jobs.
  • 1933 – First formal Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony. The tree was decked with 700 lights in front of the eight-month-old RCA Building.
  • 1936 – Two trees, each 70 feet (21.3 m) tall, were erected. For the first time the Lighting Ceremony included a skating pageant on the newly opened Rockefeller Plaza Outdoor Ice Skating Pond.\
  • 1942 – Three trees were placed on Rockefeller Plaza, one decorated in red, one in white and one in blue to show support for our troops serving during World War II.
  • 1949 – The tree was painted silver, to look like snow.
  • 1951 – The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit for the first time on national television on the Kate Smith Show.
  • 1966 – The first tree from outside the United States was erected. It was given by Canada, in honor of the Centennial of its Confederation. This is the farthest distance a tree has traveled to Rockefeller Center.
  • 1980 – For the 50th Anniversary of Tree Lighting, a 70 foot-tall (21.3 m) Norway Spruce came from the grounds of the Immaculate Conception Seminary of Mahwah, N.J. Bob Hope participated in the Lighting.
  • 1999 – The largest tree in Rockefeller Center history, 100 feet tall (30.5 m), came from Killingworth, Conn.
  • 2004 – The Swarovski-designed star became the largest star to ever grace the tree.
  • 2007 – For the first time, the tree was lit with 30,000 energy-efficient LEDs. They draw a fraction of the power that had been traditionally required by the tree, reducing energy consumption from 3,510 kwH to 1,297 kwH per day, saving as much energy as a single family would use in a month in a 2,000 square foot (185.8 m²) home. Hundreds of solar panels atop one of the Rockefeller Center buildings help power the new LEDs.