For the first time ever, the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will come from the state of Maryland — and it takes the first major step on its journey Thursday.
This year’s 79-foot tall and nearly eight decades-old Norway Spruce was donated by the Price family. It was cut down Thursday — after it was carefully wrapped and inspected — and gingerly loaded onto a flatbed for its 145-mile journey from just over Delaware’s western border to Rockefeller Center, which it reaches Saturday.
After its trek, the tree will be dressed with more than 50,000 LED lights and topped with a Swarovski crystal star ahead of its illuminating debut.
Rockefeller Center head gardener Erik Pauze, who plays a key role in choosing the tree, said the Price family looked at him “kind of funny” when he knocked on their door asked about the tree, but they got excited once he started explaining to the family how they’d share it not just New York City, but the whole country.
“Honestly, we said no way, you can’t have it,” Devon Price recalled saying at first.
Then he came around. Price and his wife Julie, along with their children, have all visited the Rockefeller Plaza during Christmastime and understand the importance of the selected tree. They’ll still miss the view of it from their second-floor window but look forward to experiencing it in a different way with the rest of the world.
Devon and Julie Price, along with their children, have all visited the Rockefeller Plaza during Christmas time before but they initially couldn’t fathom parting way with the beautiful tree. NBC New York’s Jen Maxfield reports.
“We were very surprised but we are happy to be able to share it with everyone,” Julie Price said. “It’s a special tree and it will be beautiful at Rockefeller Center and I hope everybody enjoys it.”
There’s no adorable owl who has stowed away in the branches this year, Pauze said, but it’ll still be a sight to behold. And it’s still a unique tree.
Most of the years, the Christmas tree comes from New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Pauze says he was in New Jersey scouting another tree for Radio Park — a rooftop park being erected on top of The Radio City Musical Hall — when he found the 2021 Christmas Tree in the small town of Elkton, Maryland.
Last year, there was no public access to the tree arrival at Rock Center due to the pandemic. More details about how this year’s visit will look is expected to be announced in the coming days.
The Christmas tree will be illuminated for the first time on the evening of Dec. 1 and as always, it will be broadcast live on NBC.
For the first time ever, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will come from Maryland!
Source: NBC New York
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