How the biggest, brightest Christmas trees in the US look for the 2020 holiday season

Coronavirus or not, the biggest and brightest Christmas trees around the country are decorated to the nines for this holiday season!


Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

More than 50,000 lights on the 75-foot-tall Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree are illuminated at the annual lighting ceremony, Dec. 2, 2020, in New York.

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle

Rockin' around the Christmas tree looks different for visitors at Rockefeller Center this year, starting with Wednesday's tree lighting ceremony.

What's normally a chaotic, crowded tourist hotspot during the holiday season was instead a mask-mandated, time-limited, socially distanced locale due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tree, a 75-foot (23-meter) Norway spruce, had its holiday lights turned on in an event that was broadcast on television but closed to the public. The telecast used pre-recorded performances from entertainers like Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton, and camera shots of the streets around the tree showed them to be largely empty.

The plaza where the tree is physically located will be closed to the public; instead, there will be specific tree-viewing zones on the midtown Manhattan blocks on either side.

Workers at Rockefeller Center first put up a tree in 1931. It became an annual tradition starting in 1933. This year's tree came from Oneonta, in central New York.


National Christmas Tree

The National Christmas Tree is lit on The Ellipse south of the White House (background) on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Americans all over the country can watch the 2020 National Christmas Tree Lighting live starting Thursday night at 5 p.m. ET on

The tradition on the Ellipse of the White House dates back 98 years when First Lady Grace Coolidge let public school students erect a tree there in 1923.

The White House decorations

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'Tis the holiday season at the White House.

'Tis the holiday season at the White House. All of the halls, from the East Room to the Red Room, were decked by over 125 volunteers this weekend and unveiled Monday to feature classic holiday décor with an "America the Beautiful" theme for the Trumps' final Christmas in office.

Highlights of this year's display -- coming during a global pandemic -- include a tribute to essential workers in the Red Room, including a light-up ceramic post office, and a tree with ornaments celebrating frontline workers, including a trash truck, scientist, caregiver, lab coat and nurse hat.

Capitol Christmas Treee

The 2020 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is lit after a ceremony on the West Front of Capitol Hill in Washington, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

As if the nation's capital didn't have enough Christmas cheer with the National tree and the White House tree, there's also a tree at the U.S. Capitol building. The Engelmann Spruce from Colorado was lit on the West Front of the Capitol Wednesday.


Tallest indoor Christmas tree in the US

People skate around a Christmas tree during the event "Snowday Dallas" to welcome the coming Christmas at Galleria Mall in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 19, 2020.

Xinhua/Dan Tian via Getty Images

The country's tallest indoor Christmas tree at Galleria Dallas has delighted families during the holidays since 1984.

This year's tree has 10,000 ornaments and more than half-million twinkling lights, plus branches that have to be fluffed individually.

Reliant Lights Mayor's Holiday Spectacular in Houston

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The pandemic has changed the way we've lived life in Houston, but Mayor Sylvester Turner is making sure it doesn't snuff out the holidays. The video reveals the plans for his Reliant Lights Mayor's Holiday Spectacular -101 years of Holiday Cheer.

ABC13 in Houston is the exclusive television partner of "Reliant Lights Mayor's Holiday Spectacular -101 years of Holiday Cheer."

The event will be streamed on on Dec. 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. CT -- and at the center of it all is the city's official holiday tree, a 54' white fir from Grants Pass, Oregon.


Visit Philadelphia Holiday Tree

A tree lighting ceremony for the Visit Philadelphia Holiday Tree, a 60-year-old white fir standing 50 feet tall, took place earlier this week. The tree is adorned with more than 5,000 linear feet of lights and more than a dozen handcrafted ornaments. It's tree-topper is a 130-pound Liberty Bell.


"Great Tree"

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Usually thousands of people gather to watch the Christmas tree's lights turn on, but this year the event was held during a private ceremony.

Macy's 31st annual "Great Tree" lighting ceremony was in San Francisco's Union Square Wednesday night during a private ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions in place. The artificial tree is 83 feet tall and decorated with more than 33,000 energy-efficient LED lights. On top of that, there are 1,100 ornaments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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