This year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree hails from Florida (in the state of New York) and was first purchased as a coffee table plant in 1959. It grew up to be tall and with the right proportions to be selected for the 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored energy-efficient LED lights. Topped with the Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind that made its debut last year, the 77-foot tall tree marks the center piece of not only Rockefeller Center for the holidays but also the whole evening of celebration that began at 7 PM. Untapped New York photographer Eric Lau was on hand this year to capture the festivities.

The Norway spruce tree weights 14 tons, is 46 feet wide at widest point from branch to branch, and is approximately 70-75 years old. The star contains 3 million Swarovski crystals, weights 900 pounds and has 70 spikes.

Television hosts Mario Lopez, Stefan Holt, and Natalie Pasquarella hosted the regional hour of the special from 7 to 8 PM and  Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, and Al Roker hosted the Christmas in Rockefeller Center from 8 to 9 PM, with performances by John Legend, Gwen Stefani, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, NE-YO, Skylar Astin & Alex Newell. And of course,  an appearance by the Radio City Rockettes.

For us in the press area, it was a pleasure to see the head gardener of Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauze, who selects the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree each year and Carol Schultz, the donor of this year’s tree whom we saw on the day the tree was cut upstate. Also attending tonight was Daniel Libeskind, who designed the Swarovski star, but in the architecture world is also known for his master plan for the World Trade Center and the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

It’s the 87th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a tradition inaugurated by construction workers in 1931 and has become a beloved holiday event. Next, check out the secrets of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!