It’s beginning to look a lot like … 2020. As what was arguably the worst year in recent memory nears its end, Rockefeller Center in New York City unveiled its annual Christmas tree — and people were far from impressed.
This year’s 75-foot-tall, 11-ton Norway spruce was cut down from a front yard in Oneonta, New York, earlier this month and arrived in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday, November 14, to be put on display. While Rockefeller Center executive Rob Speyer promised that it would stand “tall as a symbol of hope, resilience and New York’s enduring spirit” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some social media users couldn’t help but wonder whether the noticeably barren tree would even last through the season.
“It looks half dead! Well played NYC…. very 2020 of you!” one Instagram user commented. Another asked, “Did you get it on sale??? Its very skimpy.”
Several spectators compared the eyesore to Charlie Brown’s infamously meager Christmas tree, while others cracked jokes about the “branches staying six feet apart” in compliance with social distancing guidelines. Others rushed to the tree’s defense, noting that it is usually fluffed up by the crew ahead of NBC’s televised lighting ceremony, which is set for Friday, December 2, this year.
In response to the backlash, Rockefeller Center got in on the fun, writing via Instagram, “Wow, you all must look great right after a two-day drive, huh? Just wait until I get my lights on!”
The tree’s appearance was not the only reason it went viral on social media. After being transported from Oneonta to NYC, a crew member found a tiny owl hidden among its branches. The bird was named Rockefeller (naturally) and taken nearly two hours away to Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties, New York, where it got a clean bill of health. The owl will be released when it is ready to fly again.
“We’ve given him fluids and are feeding him all the mice he will eat,” the center wrote via Facebook on Tuesday, November 17. “It had been three days since he ate or drank anything. So far so good, his eyes are bright and seems relatively in good condition with all he’s been through.”Listen to Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!
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