The 76-foot tall Norway Spruce that will light up Rockefeller Plaza with its 45,000 lights has made the journey from Shelton, Conn., to New York City.
Louise Vargoshe, her husband John, and two sons, Nathan and Noah, said it was bittersweet to see the 12-ton tree chopped down from their Kazo Drive home. Still, they're happy to see it on national display.
"The world gets to enjoy the tree. I think the Rockefeller Center tree is a worldwide symbol of Christmas, and I'm happy that people are going to get to see our beautiful tree," Louise Vargoshe said.
Her sons have fond memories of the tree, which served as both a batting practice aid and a snow fight bunker before making its big holiday debut.
"My dad would tie a baseball to the tree and it would swing back and forth and I'd hit it," Nathan Vargoshe said.
"We built a huge fort out of snow under there. So it was good defense against snowballs," Noah Vargoshe added.
Crews will hoist the tree off the flatbed truck that hauled it to the plaza and spend hours on Friday positioning it, trimming its branches and fortifying its base ahead of the Dec. 4 lighting. The tree will remain on display until Jan. 7.
The annual event was inspired by construction workers who erected a tree of their own in 1931, decorating it with cranberries, paper garland and tin cans, according to Daniel Okrent's "Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center."
The Vargoshe family plans to check out the tree in New York this holiday season.
The last time the Rockefeller Christmas tree was chosen from Shelton was in 2007, though Connecticut has supplied several high-profile pines in the past.
Mayor Mark Lauretti says furnishing Rockefeller Center with a tree is a big deal for Shelton, which calls itself "the best affordable suburb in Connecticut."
In 2010, a 70-foot-tall tree that grew in Easton was chosen. After the season was over, it was used to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Stamford.