Entertainers came out full of holiday spirit on a freezing afternoon at the New York Stock Exchange Tree Lighting ceremony on Thursday.
The artists sang traditional Christmas songs as well as their own music on a stage in front of the exchange. Some of them went inside to the trading floor to help ring the closing bell.
Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, rock band Twisted Sister with Broadway's Rock of Ages, Stryper, New York band Honor Society and violinist Joshua Bell were among the performers.
Also appearing were jazz quartet The Manhattan Transfer, rock band Collective Soul, country music singer David Nail, Dancing with the Stars winner Kym Johnson, singer Kate Voegele.
Maria Tingoli from New Jersey, who works near the Stock Exchange, says that she hasn't missed the tree lighting in years. Despite noting that the tree this year was slightly crooked, she was content.
When asked why she likes to show up at the event, she reflected on some of the difficulties the country has faced such as the troubled economy and the 9/11 tragedy in 2001.
It's nice to see people smile, nobody smiles, she said.
Megan Skehan from the Bronx, came to see Honor Society, a band from upstate New York. She said it was her first visit to the Stock Exchange tree lighting.
They're really good performers and they're always really good to their fans, she said. They stayed out like half an hour to say hi and take pictures.
The stock exchange tree has been a tradition in New York since 1923 but this was the first year that the event was streamed live on the Internet, NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan L. Niederauer said today.