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STORY: An estimated half a million people flocked to Rockefeller Center to see the 79th annual tree lighting ceremony in New York on Wednesday (November 30).
The 74-foot tall tree was gifted by a Mifflinville, Pennsylvania family who said they always knew their tree was Rockefeller Center worthy.
"We've talked about it for many, many years. Even last year - I bring my granddaughters in every year for their Christmas present, we see a show, we do shopping, we do lunch and we always end up at Rockefeller Center and we've always talked about this tree. And last year I even googled to try and find out how to submit the tree, gave up because I couldn't find how to submit it and three months later Eric (Head Gardner for NBC) knocked on our door and the rest, they say, is history," explained Debra Keller.
The approximately 75-year-old Norway Spruce is decorated with 30,000 energy LED lights and capped off with a newly enhanced Swarovski crystal star.
Helping celebrate the so-called official start to the holiday season in New York, were performers Cee Lo Green, Javier Colon and Carole King with her daughter Louise Goffin.
Canadian singer Michael Buble performed a variety of Christmas classics, including his favorite, "I'll Be Home For Christmas."
Justin Bieber, Tony Bennett, Usher and Neil Diamond also lent their voices for the ceremony via earlier taped performances.
Visitors will be able to view the tree until January 7, 2012.