The 2014 tree was lit for the first time on Wednesday, Dec 3 at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Each year tens of thousands crowd the sidewalks for the event and hundreds of millions watch the live broadcast.
For the eighth consecutive year, the 2014 Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Once the holidays have passed and crowds have dispersed, the tree comes down and is milled, treated and made into lumber that is used for home building. The 2013 tree was used to help build exterior and interior walls for a home in Bridgeport, CT. Each year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree continues to be a symbol of hope, and inspired the children’s book, “The Carpenter’s Gift”, written by David Rubel and illustrated by Jim LaMarche in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.
For over seven decades, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center and the holiday decorations adorning and surrounding have stood as a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike. From the beginning, the Tree was a gathering place and reflection of what was happening in the world around it. Even before the first formal tree went up, workers lined up beneath a Christmas tree on the Rockefeller Plaza construction site to collect their paychecks during the height of the Great Depression. People from around the world came after September 11th to see the Tree decorated in a patriotic red, white and blue. Today, more than half a million people pass by the Tree very day, making Rockefeller Center the epicenter of New York City’s holiday celebrations.