Clay Aiken – Five Miles of Lights

There is nothing that symbolizes the commencement of the holiday season more than the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. The Ceremony is always a fun event, full of pomp and celebrities.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition began formally in 1933 when a tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month old RCA Building, which is now the GE Building. The Christmas tradition was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice skating pond. NBC-TV televised the first tree lighting in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55.

The Christmas tree that adorns Rockefeller Center is usually a Norway Spruce. The director of the Rockefeller Center gardens prefers the tree be between 75 and 90 feet tall and proportionally wide. Norway Spruce that grow in forests don’t typically reach these proportions, so the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tends to be one that was planted in someone’s front or back yard. There is no compensation offered in exchange for the tree, other than the pride of having donated the tree that appears in Rockefeller Center.

Over five miles of lights are used to decorate the tree every year. Only the lights and the star decorate the tree. The tree is recycled and the 3 tons of mulch are donated to the Boy Scouts. The largest portion of the trunk is donated to the U.S. Equestrian team in New Jersey to use as an obstacle jump.

On November 30, 2004, Clay Aiken was part of the star-studded hour-long special on NBC celebrating the lighting the world’s most famous tree.

Co-hosts for the evening were Al Roker and Nancy O’Dell. Olympic Gold Medalist Sarah Hughes skated to Vanessa Williams who sang “Silver and Gold.”

Besides Clay, the musical lineup for the special included performances by Hilary Duff, Kenny Chesney, Tony Bennett, Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Chris Isaak, Michael Buble, Vanessa Williams, and The Radio City Rockettes. Chicago was the special house band for national telecasts.

Clay was dressed for cold weather in an overcoat, striped scarf and a black hat. Clay sang “Winter Wonderland” during the National broadcast, and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing/O Come All Ye Faithful” during the earlier hour broadcast that was only shown in New York.

At the beginning of Clay’s live segment during the National Broadcast, the audience sang “Happy Birthday” to Clay, as it was his 26th birthday. Towards the end of the show, Clay joined the line of guests, as they closed the show by singing the song, “Let It Snow.”

Clay Aiken fans were excited to see Clay as a part of this exciting evening. It was an excellent opportunity to be seen and for people to be introduced to Clay’s Christmas album. “Mary Christmas With Love.”

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10 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Five Miles of Lights

  1. This year's broadcast of the TV Show is tomorrow night and once again it will be Clay's
    Birthday ! <3 <3 "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" <3 <3 Hope he is ready to blow out his candles so that his
    special NIP WISH will be coming true!! 🙂

  2. Loved watching these videos again. Tomorrows his birthday and hoping his birthday wish comes true for the NIP.

  3. I sure hope his wish comes true too! The NIP is his baby and I know he wants to raise as much money as he can! Vote vote vote! Loved the video's musicfan…. so nice to see them again!

  4. I so remember this episode. I waited on pins and needles to watch it. I still have it recorded. Wow! What a crowd. Well, tomorrow is certainly his birthday…and NIP should be seeing some more money. What a great Birthday present for him and NIP.<3<3

  5. Even though I have seen pictures of Clay wearing that ensemble, I have never seen the videos of that appearance. Didn't even know that it had happened. It was something I always wondered about. Clay certainly did an excellent job singing in the cold. I noticed that he didn't have any gloves on like Al Roker did, and I felt chilled just looking at his hands. Glad that the mystery about his outfit was finally solved for me.

    I'm pretty sure Clay's birthday wish will become a reality tomorrow. So happy that his fans are making it happen.

  6. Clay doesn’t like to be reminded that he is getting older, but he is also getting better and better. Thanks for posting these videos of Clay at the tree lighting. NYC, where he’s been for the past couple of months and where he’ll be performing again on 12/4. It must be like a 2nd home to Clay now.

  7. I'll never forget waiting on the edge of my seat for Clay's appearance on this show! Thanks for the videos.

  8. Thanks so much for this. Was just remembering it today and wishing I could see it all again. Funny, I had absolutely no recollection of who the other singers were that night. I was so nervous because Clay had been sick, but his voice was perfection. For me one of the most exciting things was that I knew I'd be seeing him live for the JNT 04 in just three days. After JNT 04, I went every year to his Christmas concerts–hoping we'll get another one next year. Also hope he sings for the tree lighting again some day.

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