NEW YORK —
"It wasn't even on our list. It was a good find," Pauze said.
Pauze said workers prepared for Superstorm Sandy by bracing the tree with cables to secure and protect it. It was moved in November.
Officials turned on the lights just before 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 80th annual celebration. Prior to that, the tree-lighting event include performances from Rod Stewart, CeeLo Green, Scotty McCreery, Il Volo, Victoria Justice, Brooke White, Mariah Carey, Trace Adkins and Tony Bennett, along with appearances by Billy Crystal and Bette Midler.
The tradition of a Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center started in 1931, when workers building the center put up the first one. No tree was put up the following year, and in 1933, the first tree-lighting ceremony took place.
People will be able to view the tree until Jan. 7. After its stint in the spotlight, it will be turned into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.