You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Thousands attend Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/1/2016
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit at Rockefeller Center during the 84th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. The 94-foot Norway spruce is covered with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) © The Associated Press The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit at Rockefeller Center during the 84th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. The 94-foot Norway spruce is covered with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of rain-drenched revelers gathered in midtown Manhattan Wednesday night to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit at Rockefeller Center during the 84th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. The 94-foot Norway spruce is covered with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) © The Associated Press The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree stands lit at Rockefeller Center during the 84th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. The 94-foot Norway spruce is covered with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch just before 9 p.m., illuminating the 94-foot tall, 14-ton Norway spruce with 50,000 multicolored LED bulbs on five miles of wires. The tree is topped with a Swarovski star.

Sarah McLachlan performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Sarah McLachlan performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The 84th annual ceremony was televised by NBC and included performances by Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Kelly and the Radio City Rockettes.

Sarah McLachlan performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Sarah McLachlan performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Security at the event was tight. Spectators were urged to use mass transit and umbrellas, backpacks and large bags were prohibited.

Tori Kelly performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Tori Kelly performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The holiday tradition started in 1931. This year's tree came from the backyard of Angie and Graig Eichler in the northern foothills of New York's Catskill mountain range.

Tori Kelly performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Tori Kelly performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Angie Eichler said their family has come almost every year to see the Rockefeller Center tree — but she never dreamed it would be theirs.

Neil Diamond performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Neil Diamond performs at the 84th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The tree will be lit every day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. until Jan. 7. On Christmas Day the lights will be on 24 hours.

After the holidays, the tree will be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

___

This story corrects to show that it is the 84th annual ceremony, not 83rd.

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon