Thousands gather for NYC Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting
(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 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.