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NYC Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting: times, price tickets, TV and how to watch

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has made it to New York City for the annual tree lighting on December 1st. Here's where you can watch the ceremony.

NYC Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting: times, price tickets, TV and how to watch
Cindy OrdGetty Images

The 79-foot tall, 12-ton Rockefeller tree has arrived in New York City from Elkton, Maryland. Tomorrow it will light up New York City. The tree type is the same as most years - a Norway Spruce.

The head gardener at the Rockefeller who chooses the tree, Erik Pauze, explains that he chooses “a tree that you would pick for your living room, but on a grander scale.” Pauze added that the Norway Spruce is the tree of choice because it stands tall and can hold many lights and decorations on its sturdy branches.

This year the tree lighting might spark more emotion and excitement, as families are able to reunite to celebrate after the pandemic. Thousands can gather to see the lighting as has been the tradition for over 80 years.

What’s the history of the Rockefeller tree?

In 1931, the first Rockefeller tree was erected by a group of workers in New York City that put their money together to buy a large tree. Together, the men and their families decorated the tree with homemade garlands. Not until 1933 did the Rockefeller tree become an annual New York City tradition.

What time is the Rockefeller Center tree lighting 2021?

This year the tree lighting starts at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.

Where can I watch the 89th anniversary tree lighting?

The tree-lighting ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC and Peacock. NBC News' TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will host the ceremony. Before the tree lighting, a one hour special will be broadcast on all NBC-owned television stations starting at 7 PM ET. “The Christmas in Rockefeller live special” will also feature live guests and celebrity performers.

Who will be performing at the “Christmas in Rockefeller live special?"

Some of the performers include Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood, and the Radio City Rockettes.

How much are tickets for the tree lighting at the Rockefeller Center?

The event is free and open to the public. You do not need to purchase tickets, but it is recommended you arrive no later than 4:00 PM ET for a good view of the tree..

What are the street closures for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting?

Starting at 3 PM ET there will be street closures for vehicles between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 48th to 51st Streets.


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