The city's best-known Christmas tree stands tall at Rockefeller Center. But this year those who want to visit the New York staple, will have to plan in advance.
The mayor announced Sunday that spectators will have to reserve a ticket to see it. He says this approach was in agreement with the state to limit crowds as coronavirus cases continue to increase during the holiday season.
He said details on the ticketing plan will be released soon.
“We want to make it really clear to people not to come out in large numbers and be really smart about distancing. So we’re going to adjust those plans to achieve that goal,” de Blasio told reporters during a briefing on the city's coronavirus response.
He's urging people not to come out in big groups. He said the NYPD will be there to patrol and that traffic lanes will be closed off. He compared the Christmas festivities at Rockefeller Center to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which also operated much differently this year because of the pandemic.
“This is not a spectator event like it's been in the past and we all need to stay safe and we need to avoid crowds, and people really honored that. I’d say the same thing here, if you get a great ticket go see it,” he said. “But what we do not want and can’t have is large crowds of people trying to get close; it's just not safe. It’s just not like holidays we’ve gone through before. Lets get through 2020, let's turn the page, in 2021 we can get back there to celebrate the tree the right way.”
The 75-foot Norway spruce arrived at Rockefeller Center on November 14. Since then, it’s received backlash on social media for it’s appearance. It once again made headlines when an owl was discovered in the tree and later rescued.
There will be no public access to this year’s tree lighting ceremony on December 2. For more information on how to watch, visit rockefellercenter.com.