Despite the rain, thousands gathered in midtown Manhattan Wednesday night to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Just before 9 p.m., New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch illuminating the 94-foot tall, 14-ton Norway spruce with 50,000 multicolored LED bulbs on 5 miles of wires.
Security at the event was tight. Spectators were urged to use mass transit and umbrellas, backpacks and large bags were prohibited. This year’s tree came from the backyard of Angie and Graig Eichler in the northern foothills of New York’s Catskill mountain range. The tree will be lit every day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. until Jan. 7. On Christmas Day the lights will be on 24 hours.
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