United States

New York kicks off festive season with lighting of tree

1 minute read

People take photos from windows overlooking the 89th lighting of the The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City, U.S., December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

NEW YORK, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Crowds returned to New York City's Midtown Manhattan late on Wednesday for the 89th annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, officially kicking off the holiday season.

The event was open to the general public, unlike last year's gathering when strict COVID-19 restrictions were in force to tackle soaring coronavirus infections.

The two-hour ceremony was broadcast live on NBC with star-studded performances, some virtual, including Carrie Underwood, whose pre-recorded performance of her song "Let There Be Peace" was broadcast from Nashville.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Other participants included Brad Paisley covering Buck Owens' 1965 country classic "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy" and José Feliciano teaming up with Latin American boy band CNCO for a performance of his song "Feliz Navidad".

The night's highlight came when more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights and a 900-pound star with at least 70 spikes covered in three million crystals were switched on, bringing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to life.

This year's tree, a 12-tonne, 79-foot (24-metre) tall Norway Spruce, will be on display through early January 2022.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Mike Collett-White

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters