One of many signs the holiday season is officially in the rearview -- the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is coming down.
An approaching coastal storm bringing intense wind gusts and the possibility of some snow showers prompted organizers to bring the tree down one day earlier than planned. The tree will be lit and available for viewing through Saturday evening.
The 79-foot Norway spruce, covered with more than 50,000 lights in a rainbow of colors and bearing a crystal-covered, 900-pound star, was lit in a midtown Manhattan ceremony again open to the public, in contrast with last year's virus-impacted event.
Last year, there was no public access to the tree arrival at Rock Center due to the pandemic.
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The first Christmas tree was placed in Rockefeller Center by men working there in 1931. This year's tree came from Elkton, Maryland, where it stood for more than 80 years outside a family home.