Christmas tree arrives at NYC's Rockefeller Center, bringing holiday cheer
(Reuters) - New York City received a much-need boost on Saturday with the arrival of a giant Christmas tree that marks the unofficial start of the 2020 holiday season.
The 75-foot (23-meter) tall Norway spruce arrived at Rockefeller Center in the early morning hours accompanied by a police escort along the 185-mile (298-km) route from Oneonta, New York.
A lighting ceremony for the 11-ton tree is planned at Rockefeller Plaza for Dec. 2, according to NBC, whose headquarters stand in front of the plaza and which will televise the event.
In-person spectators will not be allowed at the ceremony, which usually draws hundreds of holiday well-wishers, this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the network said. However, visitors should be able to visit the tree during the holiday season.
The holiday cheer comes amid a resurgence in the pandemic. Coronavirus infections in the United States are at their peak, with 139,953 new cases reported each day. Since the pandemic began, there have been more than 10 million infections and over 244,000 COVID-19-related deaths in the United States.
Every year, the Rockefeller Center tree is decorated with thousands of lights on a five-mile-long (8-km-long) wire and topped with a large star. It is visited by millions of tourists and New York residents.
This year's tree was donated by Daddy Al's General Store in Oneonta.
(Reporting by Arlene Eiras; writing by Diane Craft; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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