It might not feel much like Christmas weather, but thousands are expected to descend on Rockefeller Center Wednesday night to watch the 84th annual tree lighting ceremony.
First things first. The free event is open to the public but umbrellas are not permitted, according to the NYPD. The National Weather Service said to expect another night of moderate to heavy rain Wednesday. At least it’ll be unseasonably warm, with temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees.
What time is the tree lighting?
The ceremony takes place from 7 to 9 p.m., and will be broadcast on NBC with co-hosts Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Hoda Kotb for those watching at home.
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Where does it take place?
The tree is located at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and 51st streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues.
This year’s artists include Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Tori Kelly and the Radio City Rockettes with Tony Bennett, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Josh Groban and Jordan Smith expected to attend as well.
What streets are closed for the ceremony?
Starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, 48th, 49th, 50th and 51st streets between Fifth and Sixth avenues will be closed. Large crowds are expected in the area from the early afternoon until 11 p.m.
Aside from umbrellas, what else is not permitted at the ceremony?
Large bags and backpacks will not be allowed.
When can I visit the tree if I can’t make the tree lighting?
The lights will be on from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. through Jan. 7. It will be illuminated for 24 hours on Christmas Day.
What type of tree is it?
It is a 94-foot tall Norway spruce, which came from Oneonta, New York. The tree is nearly 100 years old and weighs 14 tons.
How many lights go on the tree?
There are about 50,000 lights strung on five miles of wire, and the tree will be topped with an energy-efficient Swarovski star.
What happens to the tree after the holidays are over?
For the 10th year in a row, the tree will be milled, treated and its lumber donated to Habitat for Humanity to build homes for the needy.
How did the Rockefeller Center tree come to be?
Workers at the Rockefeller Center construction site chipped in to purchase a 20-foot balsam fir tree, which they decorated with garlands made by their families, in December 1931.