NEW YORK, NY — The 79-foot Norway spruce that traveled from Cecil County to Rockefeller Center was the star of the show Wednesday night as it was illuminated for the very first time on live television.
Devon and Julie Price donated the stately tree to the center and watched as it was cut down behind their Glen Farms, Elkton-area home on Nov. 11 and packed onto a flatbed for the journey to the big city. The couple went to New York City two days later to see the tree get erected. Devon got to take a few whacks at the spike in the base, which would help hold the tree aloft under the weight of more than 50,000 colored lights and an enormous star laden with Swarovski crystals.
Price said that he and Julie had made several trips to the city since and were there when the tree was lit Wednesday night but, he added, their job was done.
“Our part’s pretty much over,” Price said Tuesday. He described it as “an exciting adventure.”
Laura Holton also called it an exciting adventure when she took the Cecil County CASA tour bus to NYC Wednesday to share in the excitement of the first lighting. She took her good friend Joycelynn Smith and Smith’s two children, Gaia and Cylis along.
“I’ve been to New York City but I’ve never seen the tree,” Holton, from North East, said.
CASA is taking another trip on Dec. 18 but Giulia Hodge, executive director, said she now has names on a wait list because that bus is filled.
“These folks had a blast,” she said of the full bus on Dec. 1. “And now people are asking us to do more of these.”
Hodge said she could not miss the chance to talk to her passengers as she handed out treat bags filled with candy canes and chocolate provided by Beccie’s Barkery in Nottingham, Pa.
“I had a captive audience,” she said. So she used the moment to talk about Court Appointed Special Advocates and the need for volunteers to help Cecil County’s foster care children. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
It was also that “once in a lifetime” for Holton who had the experience on her bucket list.
“I could hear the performers,” she said of the two hour event leading up to the tree lighting. “When they started the countdown ... I don’t know ... there was a weird charge in the air. I thought, ‘this is going to be lovely’ and it was.”
Holton said it was a great end to the day spent sightseeing in the Big Apple.
“It’s just these little moments in life that make it worthwhile,” she said.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit every night through the holidays. Afterward it will be repurposed into mulch for New York City’s parks and — at the request of the Prices — the lumber will come back to Cecil County and be given to Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.