Crowds Gather for Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – With a flick of the switch, a 76-foot Norway Spruce officially became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree Wednesday night after it was illuminated for the first time this holiday season in a ceremony that’s been held since 1933.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the lights just before 9 p.m., setting off a dazzling 45,000 multi-colored LED lights and a 9 1/2-foot-wide Swarovski star that topped the 12-ton tree.

Terri Morgenstern, of Alberta, Canada, waited hours and wasn’t disappointed.

[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/tree-diamond.mp3″ size=”340px” download=”false” name=”Crowds Gather for Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting” artist=”WCBS 880’s Al Jones reports.”]

“Actually, I didn’t expect it to be this gorgeous,” she told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “It’s even better in person.”

“I just can’t believe all the colors,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones. “I wasn’t expecting that. It’s beautiful.”

“It’s very cool,” said a man…

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