U.S. News

Heightened security amid Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting

 

New York Police officers stand watch at an entrance to Rockefeller Center along Fifth Avenue where the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree could be seen after the lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in New York. Increased security surrounded the annual event, which drew several thousand spectators. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

New York Police officers stand watch at an entrance to Rockefeller Center along Fifth Avenue where the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree could be seen after the lighting ceremony, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in New York. Increased security surrounded the annual event, which drew several thousand spectators. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

NEW YORK (AP) — A 10-ton Christmas tree with 45,000 LED lights covering about five miles of wire has come alive in the rain to cap New York City’s annual ritual in Rockefeller Center.

The ceremony — nationally televised by NBC on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 evening — included performances by Sting, Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli and James Taylor. Tens of thousands had a close-up view of the show.

The celebration came with security restrictions including a prohibition on umbrellas. Backpacks also were barred.

Streets surrounding Rockefeller Plaza were closed and spectators were kept behind police barricades. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says no credible threat has been reported.

The holiday tradition started in 1931. This year’s tree came from upstate Gardiner, New York. After the holidays, it will be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

 

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