Rockefeller Christmas Tree on Its Way to Manhattan

By Ben Fractenberg on November 9, 2011 2:53pm 

The Rockefeller Christmas tree  was cut down in Pennsylvania on Nov. 9, 2011.
The Rockefeller Christmas tree was cut down in Pennsylvania on Nov. 9, 2011.
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Associated Press/Mark Stehle

MIDTOWN — A 74-foot Norway Spruce was cut down on Wednesday in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania, an action that signals the official start of the holiday season for millions of New Yorkers. Why? Because the 10 ton, 75-year-old spruce will travel by flatbed truck to Manhattan and become the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

A giant crane will hoist the 10 ton tree into its new home at 30 Rockefeller Center on Friday — which is Veteran's Day.

This will have a special significance for 79-year-old Nancy Keller, the owner of the property where the tree had grown, who said her late husband Doyle had served 20 years in the United States Air Force.

“Doyle’s time in the Air Force and his being a veteran was a big part of who he was — who our family is,” said Keller.  “I know he would have enjoyed all of the enthusiasm around our tree being chosen and would have really enjoyed seeing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren so excited.”

The 79th annual tree lighting ceremony will take place Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

People can view the tree each day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and for the 24-hours of Christmas Day. On New Year's Eve, it will be lit from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The last day to see the lighted tree will be Jan. 7, 2012.

The tree  is a 74-foot high Norway Spruce from the yard of the Keller Family in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania.
The tree is a 74-foot high Norway Spruce from the yard of the Keller Family in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania.
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Associated Press/Mark Stehle

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