It is one day shy of a full week after Thanksgiving, which means that we’ve officially entered into the month-long period commonly known as “the holiday season,” in which Christmas carols and tinsel become seemingly inescapable, and mad hordes descend upon storefronts to properly stock up on wrapping paper and eggnog. What better way to ring it in, than with the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony?
The Tree Lighting Ceremony is a longstanding New York City tradition, and is now in its 85th year. This year’s tree is reportedly 75 feet tall, weighs about 12 tons, and was brought in all the way from State College, Pennsylvania. More than 50,000 lights will brighten up the Norway spruce, topped (as usual) with a Swarovski crystal star.
If you’re interested in being one of the thousands to actually attend the ceremony, make your way on down to Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, November 29. The ceremony starts at 7 p.m., but given the usual crowds that turn out, it might be wise to show up early. Performers include Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix, and Gwen Stefani.
If you’re not in New York (or are dismayed by the presence of too much Christmas cheer), you can also watch the ceremony on TV and online. Here’s how.
How to Watch the Lighting on TV
NBC will broadcast the iconic event starting at 8 p.m. ET. Anchors from the Today show Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will co-host the newscast. Given the recent news that he has been fired for sexual misconduct, Matt Lauer will not host. The network is scrambling to edit him out of pre-recorded segments, according to a report by Page Six.
How to Live Stream
If you don’t have a TV but have a cable log-in, you can stream NBC’s broadcast online at nbc.com/live.
Those with Hulu’s live TV package can also tune in. A free week-long trial is also available.