NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Now that the Rockefeller Center tree has been lit, it looks a lot like Christmas.
But this year it was missing the large crowd that usually watched the ceremony in person, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported on Wednesday.
With a switch all 50. 000 LED lights switched on on this year’s tree. A short time later the lights were switched off, but don’t worry, because the tree will be lit again on Thursday morning.
Bauman met a few people on Wednesday night who will likely be the first in line to see it. They came hoping to see the big moment up close, but were sadly turned away.
The 75-foot spruce at Rockefeller Center will be lit from 6 a.m.. m. every day until midnight through the new year. (Photo: Ali Bauman of CBS2)
The prelude included several star-studded gigs around the 75-foot spruce, but the annual ceremony this year was without a big deal – a lot.
Typically thousands of people pack Rockefeller Plaza to see the show, but this year it was closed to the public for adherence to social distancing protocols.
Hours earlier, police blocked the streets and distant pedestrians from the surrounding blocks and guarded the entrances all night to the disappointment of hopeful bystanders.
« I’ll be back tomorrow to see how it looks. I know it’s going to be nice, ”said Mayra Montano from Miami.
« We actually brought the kids here last year and they saw the tree and went ice skating. It was wonderful and we were sadly hoping to have a similar experience this time, ”added Heather Ruark from Maryland.
MORE: Required tickets to view Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, changes to other holiday traditions in town this year
Crews used the empty streets to put up social distancing stickers. Visitors must stand in six-foot pods to see the tree once it is open to the public again. There is a five minute limit on your arrival.
Although COVID-19 is keeping the crowds apart this season, fans told Bauman they were just glad the Christmas show was going on.
« It’s beautiful. It’s a tradition. They did it every year so I think it’s everyone’s dream to celebrate Christmas in New York and see this monumental tree, ”said Jackson.
The streets remain on 49. and 50. Road closed to traffic between fifth and sixth streets. From Thursday the tree will be illuminated from 6 a.m.. m. every day until midnight through the new year.
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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Christmas Day, New York
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