The festive season is officially in full swing with the arrival of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree!
This year’s tree, a 79-foot-tall Norway spruce, arrived at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on Saturday, Nov. 13.
The Norway spruce was donated from the yard of the Price family in Elkton, Maryland. Devon and Julie Price said they never considered the spruce, which is over 80 years old, could be a star attraction but then they decided they wanted to share it with the rest of the country.
"We never thought a tree on our property would be selected for Rockefeller Center. Nope, not in a million years," Devon Price told TODAY.
"As a family, we've gone from, 'No, we can't let this tree go,' to now, we worry about it. We worry about how it survived a storm or a heavy rain or heavy wind. So, we're very excited to have it go to New York City," he said.
"We're happy to share it with everyone," Julie Price added.
After its 150-mile journey on a flatbed truck, the tree will be installed and adorned with more than 50,000 LED lights that, if stretched out, would span about five miles of wire.
The tree will be topped with a star covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals that weigh about 900 pounds.
One feature the tree won’t include is Rocky (short for Rockefeller), the adorable owl that was discovered in the branches of last year’s spruce after it had already been transported from Oneonta, New York.
Once discovered, the stowaway bird was taken to a wildlife center for rehabilitation and in December 2020, it was safely released back into a forest in upstate New York.
This year’s tree will be lit on Wednesday, Dec. 1 during the "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" live special, which will be broadcast on NBC.
The tree will be lit daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., and will be illuminated for 24 hours on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve, it will be lit from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The practice of displaying a Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza dates back to 1931, when workers at Rockefeller Center chipped in to buy a 20-foot-high balsam fir. Two years later, Rockefeller Center decided to make the tree an annual tradition.