Tis The Season

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - 5:15pm

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree set to light up for the first time this holiday season.

The annual tree lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center takes place tonight, a New York tradition that dates back to 1933 that is now celebrated all around the country.

This year's tree once towered above the rooftops in upstate New York.

The 74-foot tall Norway Spruce was donated by New York firefighter Peter Acton and his wife Stephanie to pay tribute to his fellow firefighters and others who died on 9/11.

"I lost a lot of friends down there and to give something back because the city was, the people of the city are amazing," Acton said.

That gift is now standing tall in Rockefeller Center, and the centerpiece for tonight's nationwide celebration kicking off the holidays.

It took crews several weeks to wrap the giant spruce with 30,000 LED lights.

Topping it all off is a massive Swarovski star adorned with 25,000 crystals.

Before the tree lighting the annual christmas in Rockefeller Center show will also shine.

Performers include Mariah Carey, Josh Grobin and Susan Boyle.

Security has also been tightened in response to the attempted bombing plot at Portland, Oregon's tree lighting ceremony.

Extra barricades have been set up on streets, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the city is safe and urged visitors to come out and celebrate the season.

The tree remains in Rockefeller Center until January.

The tree will be recycled and the wood donated to Habitat for Humanity.

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