Ever dream of your town providing the world-famous Rockefeller Christmas tree? Here's what it's like.

My tiny town in Connecticut was thrust into the national spotlight back in the late 90s.

It was a spectacle and, to date, probably the biggest thing to happen there.

Record for Rockefeller's Tallest Tree

My hometown will forever enjoy having the eternal bragging rights of providing the tallest tree to ever light up Rockefeller Center.

Courtesy Rockefeller Center on Facebook
Courtesy Rockefeller Center on Facebook

Clocking in at 100 feet tall, the Norway spruce that traveled all the way from Route 80 in Killingworth, Connecticut, to New York City has maintained the record since 1999.

Waking up to the news that NYC wants a tree from your town was absolutely mind-blowing. We were told Rockefeller Center officials were flying over Killingworth in a helicopter when they spotted the gigantic spruce.

The tree was actually selected in April, but we didn't know about the honor until months later.

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I remember my classmates buzzing about being in the national spotlight and some even planned to ditch school to watch the tree being cut down.

It soon became a major event that everyone and their mom planned on attending because not much else was happening in town.

Seriously, the next big thing happened four years later when news broke that a Dunkin' Donuts was setting up shop on Clinton Road. Swarms of angry people ardently protested the idea because it was "going to destroy the small-town vibe" or something.

The Big Day

On November 10, the 10-ton tree was finally removed from Jim and Cathy Thompson's property and loaded onto a 115-foot trailer that took up two lanes of traffic and moved at 25 miles per hour.

Credit - NYSP via Facebook
Credit - NYSP via Facebook

As for where I was at the time, I was sitting in a rather empty classroom and reading The Bridge to Terabithia because there was no way my parents were going to let me "skip school to watch a tree fall down." Believe me, I begged and pleaded to go.

Unfortunately, most of my classmates' families didn't agree with my parents' mindset. So I was left to my own devices; suffering from the biggest case of FOMO.

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The feeling that I missed out on something so important worsened after my excited classmates piled back in because all they could talk about was the crazy amount of news reporters that descended upon our tiny town.

Japan even sent some reporters to cover the event. Japan!

And I missed all of it because I was too busy reading the part in Terabithia where Leslie drowns, which added a lot of insult to an already grave injury on my ego.

A New Tree for 2023

A new spruce has been picked and will be heading to Rockefeller Center on November 11.

82nd Annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Photo Credit - Brad Barket / Getty Images

This year's tree comes from Vestal, New York. The tree is said to be 80-feet tall and weighs about 12 tons.

Read More: World Famous Rockefeller Tree Has Been Chosen

The tree will then make its gorgeous debut on November 29, with Kelly Clarkson hosting the incredible tree-lighting ceremony starting at 8 o'clock on NBC.

It will remain glittering and glistening at Rockefeller Center until the holidays are over, where it will then be milled into lumber and used to help construct affordable housing via Habitat for Humanity.

Longest Christmas Lights Display in the World a Short Drive from CNY

Millions travel to Niagara Falls for the Winter Festival of Lights to see the more than 3 million lights and spectacular fireworks displays that run from November 18, 2023, through January 7, 2024.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

11 Christmas Towns in New York to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

New York City may be home to the Rockefeller Christmas tree but there are several small towns and villages that will get you in the holiday spirit with all the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple.

Gallery Credit: Credit - Polly McAdams

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