Expect a Midtown melee Wednesday as President Barack Obama’s visit and the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree coincide.
President Obama will be in the Big Apple for a series of fundraisers today, including one at the Sheraton Hotel on Seventh Avenue — just a few blocks over from the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree ceremony.
Sam Schwartz, a New York City traffic expert, says that the POTUS and the spruce tree will bring Manhattan to an “absolute standstill” during the “biggest gridlock alert day of the decade.”
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Thousands are expected to attend the Rockefeller tree lighting at 9 p.m.
Fifth and Sixth Avenues from 48th Street to 52nd Street will be closed for the commotion from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Michael Buble, Faith Hill, Carol King and Cee Lo Green are expected to perform live at the lighting. Contrary to rumors, Justin Bieber will not be performing live; the ceremony will include a pre-recorded concert by the Biebs.
Let there be lights
Rockefeller Center’s 74-foot Christmas tree will light up at 8:55 p.m. tonight. Spectators can head over to Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Street before 7 p.m. to watch the two-hour ceremony.
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.