Rock Center Christmas Tree Once Again Star Of NYC

Bloomberg Flicks Switch On 30,000 Energy-Efficient Bulbs

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

More from Peter Haskell
  • Morris Wise

    There is no real estate more precious than NYC, it is the heart and mind of the nation and the number one tourist attraction. “There are different strokes for different folks” are the words most often spoken and cab drivers ask: “What is your habit rabbit?” before driving you to your destination. It is a light of freedom to a dimly lit world and that is why it must always be protected by thousands of police and bomb sniffing dogs.

  • INJUN93


  • Stephen Bartell

    That tree used to be lit in December. Just more commercial BS to make Xmas in
    November. There are some people who put up decorations starting at Thanksgiving
    . Don’t you realize it is commercial interests that want to squeeze every last penny out of you? The 12 days of Xmas has been turned into the 36 days.
    Also, while I’m thinking of it, before the mid 1970’s, office buildings put up large,
    impressive light displays. They were greatly reduced, because of “the energy crisis”
    of that period, and people forgot that. Put them back up, but wait till the first week of December.
    Lastly, I don’t see the holiday as a religious one, as many insist, but rather a
    celebration of light for the winter solstice.

  • williamc

    I can’t stand Bloomberg. He is a weasel for buying a third term.

  • Lolla

    Drivers should always expect delays in Midtown

  • Sally Rogers

    Mr Liberal

  • Michael H.

    Dumbest post of the week award goes to…


    Just remember where the tree comes from–PUTNAM COUNTY–affectionately referred to as “Where the Country Begins!”

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