Rockefeller tree lighting a star-studded event

It is an annual tradition in New York and shared throughout the country.

The lighting of The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

A star-studded night of performances included Tony Bennett, Beyonce and a special appearance by Britney Spears.

It is a wondrous sight, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree shining bright.

The towering Norway spruce wrapped with 30,000 led energy-efficient lights and adorned with a massive crystal star.

Clearly the showstopper at the star-studded ceremony.

The New York tree-lighting tradition, now a nationwide celebration ushers in the holidays and brings together locals and tourists.

"It's my favorite part of Christmas, the tree.  It's amazing. Magical," said Pam Birch from Augusta, Georgia.

The Rockefeller tree lighting dates back to the Great Depression.

Around the same time, this year's 72-foot tall tree was just getting its start at Bill Varanyak's home in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.

His mother planted the tiny spruce and hoped it would someday become a Rockefeller Christmas tree.

A helicopter scout team for Rockefeller Center helped make the dream come true.

"I was working in my greenhouse and I heard this "rrrrrrrr" what the heck is that, went outside and there was a helicopter up there," said Varanyak.

A family tree, now part of history for all to see.