Christmas in Rockefeller Center

NBC kicks off the holidays with the lighting of NYC's iconic Christmas tree.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center

About the Show

NBC celebrates the holiday season in style with its hugely popular Christmas in Rockefeller Center special on Wednesday, December 4 at 8-10 p.m. ET/PT.

Just before the lighting of the iconic tree in Rockefeller Plaza, audiences will be treated to festive performances by Chicago, Brett Eldredge, Derek and Julianne Hough, John Legend, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Ne-Yo, Gwen Stefani, Straight No Chaser and Skylar Astin and Alex Newell from NBC's midseason drama Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, with appearances from Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin and the Radio City Rockettes. NBC’s Today anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker will host the joyous event.

Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on all NBC-owned television stations as well as many NBC affiliates (7-8 p.m. ET, check local listings). The regional hour will be co-hosted by Access Hollywood’s Mario Lopez along with NBC 4 New York’s Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to 1931 during the Great Depression. The first official tree-lighting ceremony occurred two years later in 1933, in front of the then-eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on The Kate Smith Show and as part of the nationwide Howdy Doody television show from 1953 to 1955.

The 87th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 77-foot-tall, 46-foot-wide Norway spruce from the Village of Florida in Orange County, New York. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 70 to 75 years old. It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs and will be topped with a stunning Swarovski star.

After the tree leaves Rockefeller Center, it will be milled into lumber for donation to Habitat for Humanity and used to build homes in the region.

NBCUniversal is celebrating the 11th year of partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, kicking off with Christmas in Rockefeller Center. The campaign will support tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas. NBCUniversal’s $25,000 donation will restore communities across the United States that have been destroyed by recent wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters. The more than 100,000 trees planted since the partnership’s inception have helped rebuild forests and communities for future generations to enjoy.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Debbie Palacio directs.

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