Entertainment

Rock Center Christmas Tree Once Again Star Of NYC

Bloomberg Flicks Switch On 30,000 Energy-Efficient Bulbs
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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

haskell_feature Peter Haskell
Peter Haskell joined WCBS in 1994. This followed stints at WCTC Radio...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/ CBS 2/1010 WINS/AP) — Tens of thousands of people gathered in Rockefeller Center on Tuesday night to watch the lighting of the country’s most famous Christmas tree, just days after a terror scare at a tree lighting in Oregon.

LINKS: NYC Tree LightingsHoliday Traffic Calendar (pdf)

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports from Rockefeller Center where thousands watched the annual lighting.

1010 WINS Al Jones from Rockefeller Center

Mayor Michael Bloomberg helped turn on the 30,000 energy-efficient lights dressing the Christmas tree following a show featuring performances by Jessica Simpson, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, British singer Katherine Jenkins and teen pop star Charice.

LINKS: Traffic & Transit | Planes, Trains & Automobiles Guide | Weather

The 74-foot Norway spruce, donated by Peter and Stephanie Acton of Mahopac, N.Y., will be on view until Jan. 7.

The event took place less than a week after the arrest of a 19-year-old Somali-American man charged in an alleged plot to blow up a car bomb at an Oregon Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.

“It kind of crossed my mind but not enough to keep me away,” said 44-year-old Lisa Kingston, who was visiting from Canada with her friend and had wanted to see the event in person after many years of watching it on TV.

Her sentiments were echoed by 41-year-old Bonnie Hixson of Lubbock, Texas.

1010 WINS’ Alice Stockton-Rossini reports

“It’s a sign of our religious freedoms and a sign of our freedom to celebrate,” Hixson said. “It’s what gets my Christmas season off to a start.”

Police prepared for the sizable crowd by blocking off streets and urging people to use mass transit instead of cars to get there.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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