Obama, tree ignite traffic jam - Metro US

Obama, tree ignite traffic jam

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.”

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.

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