The nation’s most famous Christmas tree has been chosen for 2021 and will make its way to New York this weekend.
This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a 79-foot Norway spruce, selected from hundreds of nominations. It currently stands on a property in Elkton, Maryland, about 90 minutes north of Baltimore.
The tree will be cut down on Thursday and delivered to 30 Rock on Saturday, when workers will begin the long process of installing overlooking the ice skating rink, then decorating it with a plethora of decorations.
The official tree lighting won’t take place until December 1, but decorating will begin immediately.
The identity of the donors and the exact location of the tree have been kept secret. Elkton Mayor Rob Alt told myeasternshoremd.com that it is on private property outside the town limits. “But I’m extremely excited for Cecil County,” Alt said. “This is a wonderful thing.”
This year’s tree not only stands 79 feet tall, but is 46 feet wide and weighs a massive 12 tons, or about 24,000 pounds. Experts estimate the tree is about 85 years old.
This will be the first tree chosen for Rockefeller Center from Maryland. Its journey will be just 140 miles up the New Jersey Turnpike into the city.
When its decoration is complete, the tree will feature more than 50,000 lights. If you think stringing lights on your tree takes time, this effort involves wires that — if laid out — would run more than five miles.
The coup de grace, the tree topping star, alone weighs 900 pounds and features 70 spikes with more than 3 million crystals.
Once installed, the tree will be lit up for viewing daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. On Christmas Day and for a few days around the actual holiday, the tree will stay on 24 hours a day.
Officials have not yet announced when the tree will come down.
As part of the holiday traditions, the ice rink has opened for visitors. Admission is $20 to $54 depending on time and day, and skates can be rented for an additional $10. Proof of vaccination is not required since it is an outdoor activity.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a New York tradition that dates back nine decades. The first tree, a 20-foot balsam fir, went up in 1931, and two years later, its installation and decoration became an annual event.
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