New York: The Rockefeller Centre Christmas will go green this year. The holiday display, lit at a night ceremony on 28November, included a rainbow of colours. What set the display apart was the 84 foot tall Norway spruce sporting energy-saving bulbs, and an array of solar panels atop the 45 Rockefeller Plaza. These will help power them, albeit in an environment friendly way.
It was a lively moment with revelers gathering around the tree hoping to get a view of performances by stars such as Tony Bennett, Josh Groban and Ashley Tisdale. Michael Bloomberg, city mayor and the Radio City Rockettes did the honours of flipping the switch for the tree lights shortly before 9p.m.
Visitors started gathering as early as 4:30 p.m. to secure a position against the police barricades. One such visitor was Maria from Italy. “In Italy each year they show it on TV,” said she. Her friend Aurelio Bellini added, “But living this moment live, is magic.”
Quantum drop in energy use
The six decade old spruce has been covered with five miles of wire and 30,000 multicolored bulbs known as light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The new lights are expected to reduce the energy consumption of the holiday display from 3,510 to 1,297 kilowatt hours per day.
Rooftop solar panels installed to power the lights will become a permanent fixture to help offset the energy demands of Rockefeller Center. Organizers are also planning to recycle the tree by using it as lumber for Habitat For Humanity projects in New York, the U.S. Gulf Coast, India and Brazil.
The tree’s topper-the Swarovski star, which is 10-feet in diameter, can sparkle even without any lights. The tree lighting event, which is to be broadcast by NBC, includes performances by Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Natasha Bedingfield, Sean Kingston and Taylor Swift.