2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree: What You Need to Know
The 11-ton Norway spruce will arrive and be erected at Rockefeller Center Saturday, Nov. 14.
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How to See the Rockefeller Center Tree This Year
To ensure everyone's safety this year, Rockefeller Center is implementing various safety procedures, including enforced time limits, Center Plaza will be closed, and masks and social distancing.
- Tree viewing entrances are located at 49th and 50th streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. Once entered, visitors will follow social distancing markers to get to tree-viewing zones.
- Each socially distant floor marker accommodates up to four people. Groups larger than four people will be split into smaller groups.
- Social distancing will be enforced by staff and NYPD.
- There is a 5-minute time limit to view the tree and take pictures.
- Masks are mandatory at all times.
- Virtual queuing will be available. Guests can scan a QR code to virtually queue when lines are long. They'll then receive a text when it's their time to return to view the tree.
What happens to the Rockefeller Center tree after Christmas?
Continuing a longstanding tradition, the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity at the end of the holiday season. The tree will be milled, treated, and made into lumber that will be used to help build affordable homes for families.
The Start of a Tradition
The first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was erected in 1931 by construction workers at the Rockefeller Plaza construction site. During the height of the Great Depression, the workers pooled their money together to buy a 20-foot balsam fir, which was then decorated with handmade garlands created by the workers’ families. The following year, Rockefeller Center decided to make the Christmas tree a holiday tradition and held the first tree lighting ceremony.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan. For more information, visit rockefellercenter.com.
Main image: The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was cut on the morning of Nov. 12 and loaded onto a flatbed trailer. It's making its way to NYC and will be erected on Saturday, Nov. 14.
Courtesy Diane Bondareff, AP Images