Rockefeller Center 2021 Christmas tree lighting: what you need to know| Top stories

Rockefeller Center 2021 Christmas tree lighting: what you need to know

| Top stories | News Today

After last year’s ceremony was closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting is back to begin the most wonderful time of the year.

After traveling 140 km from Maryland, the tree, a spruce tree from Norway, arrived in New York City on November 13, but it will be illuminated for the first time on Wednesday. Thousands of people are expected in Midtown Manhattan to attend the 89th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Here’s what you need to know about the festivities.

The Christmas tree lighting will take place on Wednesday, December 1 and will be broadcast live as part of the NBC special “Christmas in Rockefeller Center”.

This year’s pre-show celebration, which will be hosted by Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery of NBC 4 New York, as well as Mario Lopez of “Access Hollywood,” will begin at 7pm.

Next, “Today” presenters Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker will host the main event, which begins at 8 pm.

If you’re hoping to attend the tree-lighting at Rockefeller Center in person, it’s open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

But if you’d rather stay at home than brave the cold temperatures, you can watch the special on NBC or its streaming platform, Peacock.

If you don’t have cable, you can also watch the event on streaming platforms like Sling TV or Fubo TV, both of which include NBC.

Both streaming services offer free trials and have live TV and DVR options, so people can watch the parade in real time or later.

In recent years, famous singers and the Radio City Rockettes have performed live.

This year is no different. The Rockettes will take the stage with a host of artists including Carrie Underwood, Mickey Guyton, Harry Connick Jr., Brad Paisley, Alessia Cara, Norah Jones, Rob Thomas and the Broadway cast of “Come From Away”.

Last year’s tree received a lot of criticism from social media users who thought its appearance was unusually shaggy. Some people saw it as the perfect metaphor for instability in the year 2020.

This year’s tree, an 85-year-old Norway spruce tree, 79 feet tall and weighing almost 12 tons, will hopefully appeal to audiences better. It comes from a farm in Elkton, Maryland.

Teams worked around the clock to wrap the tree in more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights. A three-dimensional star, which weighs around 900 pounds, features 70 tips covered with three million Swarovski crystals, and was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, will serve as the icing on the cake.

The tree won’t just be ready for its close-up on Wednesday night. Daily observation hours will continue after the lighting ceremony from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. The tree will be lit for 24 hours on Christmas Day and on New Years Eve it will be lit from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

As foot traffic intensifies around the holiday season, New York City officials have announced street and lane closures to temporarily increase pedestrian space around Rockefeller Center.

49th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue and 50th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue will be closed to all traffic between 11 a.m. and midnight daily.

Two lanes of traffic will be removed on Fifth Avenue between 48th Street and 52nd Street, and no turns on 47th, 49th or 51st Street will be allowed.

One lane of traffic will be removed on Sixth Avenue between 48th and 52nd Street.

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