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Gym Class Heroes Drummer Donates 80-Foot-Tall Christmas Tree to Rockefeller Center

The tree, which weighs around 12 tons, was plucked from the musician’s property in Vestal, New York, and delivered to Rockefeller Center on November 11

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — unless you live in New York and find yourself having to travel through swarms of tourists in Rockefeller Center. The 91st annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 29, with this year’s 80-foot tall, 43-foot wide Norway Spruce arriving courtesy of Gym Class Heroes drummer Matt McGinley and his wife Jackie.

The tree, which weighs around 12 tons, was plucked from the musician’s property in Vestal, New York, and delivered to Rockefeller Center on Nov. 11. It’s said to be approximately 80 to 85 years old and has been decorated with over 50,000 multi-colored lights. It will remain on display through Jan. 13, 2024, at 10:00 p.m.

A few days before the tree touched down in the city, McGinley shared a video on Instagram capturing its removal. In an interview with Finger Lake Times, Rockefeller Center head gardener Erik Pauze noted that he had his eye on the McGinley’s tree for a while leading up to its selection. “We’re told he’s always scouting for trees,” Jackie McGinley added. “The whole process is incredibly secretive. Because of that, we didn’t know our tree was selected. We thought maybe it was on a short list.”


Gym Class Heroes reunited earlier this year after a four-year hiatus, but they won’t be taking the stage at the lighting ceremony. The national broadcast will be hosted by Kelly Clarkson and feature performances from herself as well as Keke Palmer, Chlöe Bailey, Cher, David Foster, Liz Gillies, Darlene Love, Seth MacFarlane, Barry Manilow, Katharine McPhee, Adam Blackstone, Carly Pearce, and Manuel Turizo. The Radio City Rockettes will also perform.

“I’m so excited to consider this city and Rockefeller Center my new home,” Clarkson shared in a statement. “And I can’t imagine a better way to kick off Christmas this year than to be a part of this beautiful New York tradition with the lighting of the tree.”

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