Crew prepares to load up the tree
TOWN OF NEWBURGH – The world renowned Rockefeller Center Christmas
Tree has been chosen from the Mid-Hudson region once again.
For 2018, a tree owned by couple Lissette Gutierrez and Shirley Figueroa
from the Town of Newburgh was chosen and will be viewed by millions in
Manhattan throughout its stay during the holiday season.
The tree was cut down and placed on a large flatbed truck with the aid
of a giant crane.
Head Gardener for Rockefeller Center Erik Pauze said its always exciting
for him to participate in this process, seeing people from the community
take pride in having something from their home be taken to the world stage.
Pauze explained how he decided on the 75 foot-tall, 45 foot-wide, Norway
Spruce after years of scouting around the state.
“I found this one about four, or five, years ago when I was over
there on Route 32. I saw a big, great portion of the tree, and when I
went down the road and turned around and came up on top of the hill here,
I saw the whole tree and I knew that one day it would be a great tree
for Rockefeller Center,” said Pauze.
Gutierrez said although the tree was a beloved part of their yard, Figueroa
had a long-time dream of donating a Rockefeller Christmas Tree. With a
little bit of convincing, and the fact that the tree lumber is donated
to Habitat for Humanity after its stay in New York City, they decided
donating the tree would be a great thing.
“At first, I was hesitant. I mean, it was beautiful,” said
Gutierrez. “I wanted to keep it. Shirley definitely wanted to do
it. She had a tree, where we used to live, that she was fertilizing and
she always thought one day she was going to donate it to Rockefeller Center.
So, she persuaded me that it was a good thing, and it is a good thing
because everybody can enjoy it, not just us,” she said.
Both Gutierrez and Figueroa are formally from New York City, having lived
in the Town of Newburgh for just a few years and said it is was a huge
honor for them to have donated something so iconic to their city.
The 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will arrive at Rockefeller
Center on November 10th and the Lighting Ceremony will take place on Wednesday,
Gutierrez and Figueroa said they are excited to see the tree in its new
home and will be attending both its arrival in the city, as well as the
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