Thousands of people braved rainy weather to watch the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New York City on Wednesday night.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, actors Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon were on hand to light the 94-foot (28 meters) Norway spruce outside the building in midtown Manhattan.

The tree is adorned with 50,000 multicolored lights, topped with a 550 lb (250 kg), 9.5 foot (2.8 meter) wide Swarovski crystal star.

The tree will remain on display until Jan. 7 and will then be donated to the home building charity Habitat for Humanity, the Rockefeller Center website said.

The Rockefeller Center tree has been a staple of Christmas in New York City since the Great Depression, with hundreds of thousands people visiting the tree while it is on display.

(Reporting by Julie Noce; Editing by Darren Schuettler)