ROCKEFELLER CENTER — It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Rockefeller Center.
The Rock's famed Christmas tree was hoisted into place Friday morning, ready to be decorated and admired by millions of tourists and New Yorkers.
The 90-year-old, 85-foot tall Norway Spruce was trucked in from Pennsylvania, arriving in the city early Friday.
It took a dozen of workers, a gigantic crane and several hours to lift the 13-ton tree into place in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
The 90-year-old tree was donated by Dan Sigafoos and Rachel Drosdick-Sigafoos, who had it in the front yard of their home in Hemlock Township, Pa.
“I just squealed when Rockefeller Center finally gave us the word,” said Drosdick-Sigafoos, a 29-year-old swimming coach who said Christmas was her favorite holiday.
“I’m just so excited to be part of this iconic part of New York.”
Every branch of the tree had to be tied up separately to make the 46-feet wide spruce smaller for its transportation, said Ron Panella, the Chief of Operations with Torsilieri, a landscape contractor in charge of setting up the tree.
“It took us six days and eight guys to put ropes on each branch. We made it 16-feet wide to transport it,” Panella said.
Dozens of people gathered in front of Rockefeller Center to watch it being put in place.
“The tree is actually a lot bigger in person than when you see it on TV,” said Maria Abrahamson, a Minnesota native who was in New York with her husband to celebrate her 50th birthday.
Once the tree was in place, Drosdick-Sigafoos and her husband distributed parts of small branches that had fallen during the operation to the public.
“They all came here to watch the tree so they can go home with a little souvenir,” Drosdick-Sigafoos said.
The tree will be decorated with 45,000 multi-colored lights and a 9.5-feet wide Swarovski Star in the next coming weeks.
The lighting ceremony, the 82nd one, will take place on December 3 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. and the tree will remain lit and open to the public until 8 p.m on January 7.