The famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lights have now been turned on as part of the longstanding tradition that ushers in Christmas time in New York City.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio flipped the switch on Wednesday night to light the Christmas Tree following a televised extravaganza that featured performances by Diana Ross and Tony Bennett.
The 72-foot-tall tree is decorated with 5 miles of multicolored LED lights and a 900-pound Swarovski crystal star.
Rockefeller Center has hosted the annual ceremony since 1931.
The famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lights were turned on Wednesday night as part of the longstanding tradition that ushers in Christmas time in New York City
Thousands of spectators flocked to the area on Wednesday night to catch a glimpse of the towering tree
Police officers flooded the area in New York City and spectators were funneled through security.
The 75-year-old tree was donated by a couple in Wallkill, roughly 60 miles north of the city.
It will remain on display until January 7 before it will be given to Habitat for Humanity to help build homes.
The nationally televised extravaganza was hosted by NBC News personalities, including the Today show’s Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin.
The evening included musical performances by John Legend, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, and Diana Ross.
They sang festive Christmas carols while they were joined by the Radio City Rockettes.
But the festive spirit was momentarily tarnished when de Blasio’s name was called out so he could flip the switch.
The Mayor was booed by some in the crowd during the nationally televised event.
The festive spirit was momentarily tarnished when Mayo Bill de Blasio’s name was called out so he could flip the switch. He was booed as he stood on stage by Jerry Speyer and his son Rob, who are the chairman and CEO of Tishman Speyer
The televised extravaganza on Wednesday featured performances from the likes of John Legend, who wrapped up in a camel colored coat in the cold New York temperatures
Diana Ross also took to the stage at the 86th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting on Wednesday night
The Radio City Rockettes are pictured performing before the 86th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Diana Krall and Tony Bennett were also among the performers at the star-studded event in the heart of New York City
He was joined on stage by Jerry Speyer and his son Rob who are the chairman and CEO of Tishman Speyer, the real estate investment firm that bought Rockefeller Center.
Although de Blasio handily won re-election last year, his popularity has been dropping in recent months against the backdrop of newspaper headlines about alleged corruption in his administration.
The crowd jeering at de Blasio during the lighting quickly sent social media into a frenzy.
The towering tree was donated for the first time by a same-sex or Latina couple in the history of the tradition.
Shirley Figueroa, who donated the Norway spruce with her wife, told the New York Times that she grew up in the Bronx with absolutely no trees on her block.
The couple, who are both Puerto Rican, moved to Wallkill last year where they had an abundance of trees at their fingertips.
‘Just the fact that I have a tree that I can donate when I came from somewhere that had no trees – it’s so surreal,’ Figueroa said.
Rockefeller Center has hosted the ceremony since 1931. The event was televised nationally by NBC
It will remain on display until January 7 before it will be given to Habitat for Humanity to help build homes
Police officers flooded the area in New York City and spectators were funneled through security for the event
The 900-pound Swarovski crystal star is seen in the above photo