Archbishop Timothy Dolan blesses animals for Rockette's 'Christmas Spectacular' in NYC (10 images)

New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan performs a blessing of the animals that will appear in the "Christmas Spectacular" at Radio City Music Hall on November 6 in New York City.
Updated: Nov. 7, 2017 at 8:10 AM
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Radio City Rockettes react as camels come close when New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan performs a blessing of the animals that will appear in the 91st annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
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Camels are escorted down Sixth Avenue. The camels, sheep, and donkey that are featured in the "Living Nativity" number drink up to 450 bottles of water, eat 340 bales of hay and 560 loaves of bread, and go for two walks in the morning and evening on the streets outside Radio City Music Hall.
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The Rockettes were originally known as the "Missouri Rockets" and were based out of St. Louis. The dancers traveled to New York City to perform in the Broadway show Rain or Shine, and were then discovered by theatre entrepreneur S.L. “Roxy” Rothafel. He dubbed them the "Roxyettes" which two years later was changed to the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.
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The Rockettes were among the first entertainers to volunteer for the United Service Organizations (USO) and they entertained troops abroad in Berlin, Germany, to perform for the men participating in the Berlin Airlift and were involved in wartime shows at the Copacabana, the Army Air Corps base in Pawling, New York and at the Stage Door Canteen.
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This is the third year running that Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan has performed a blessing of the animals that will be featured in the Spectacular.
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Radio City Rockettes stand with sheep and camels as New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan performs a blessing.
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More than 3,000 women have performed as Rockettes in the Christmas Spectacular since its inception in the 1930s.
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