72-foot Christmas tree arrives at Rockefeller Center from upstate New York

Larry McShane, New York Daily News
·1 min read

It’s not even Thanksgiving and it’s already starting to look a little like Christmas at Rockefeller Center.

The 2020 incarnation of the world’s most famous Christmas tree arrived Saturday at the Midtown location between the famous skating rink and the 30 Rockefeller Plaza skyscraper — a 72-foot Norway spruce donated by Al Dick of Daddy Al’s General Store in the upstate New York town of Oneonta.

The NYPD Highway Unit provided an escort for the celebrity evergreen on its 162-mile trip in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, and the tree’s lights — more than five miles worth — will go on at the usual televised tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 2.

Unlike years past, no live spectators will be admitted to Rockefeller Center when the switch is flipped.

NBC’s “Today” show showed video of the tree’s arrival early Saturday morning, with a crane poised to install the towering spruce. The tree will be adorned with decorations over the next two weeks, authorities said.

The health crisis forced the cancellation of the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular just a block west of the tree.

The first tree went up in December 1931, with Rockefeller Center workers pooling their money to purchase a 20-foot tall balsam fir with homemade garlands.

Two years later, the first official tree went up and the event became an annual tradition, drawing thousands of people to watch the lights go on.


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