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Thousands attend Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/1/2016
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)

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

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)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch Wednesday night, illuminating the 94-foot tall, 14-ton Norway spruce with 50,000 multicolored lights.

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

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 northern foothills of New York's Catskill mountain range. After the holidays, it will be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

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)

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

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

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