Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Draws Big Stars
The annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center in NYC is almost upon us; the television special will air Wednesday, Dec. 4 on NBC.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree arrived at 30 Rock in mid November, where it will remain until Jan. 7. The tree measures at least 65 feet in height with a 35-feet diameter and is traditionally a Norway Spruce. Trees are donated every year to the Rockefeller Center to be decorated and displayed as a massive holiday season tourist attraction.
Once the holiday season is over, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, a tradition that began in 2007 when the lumber was used to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The lumber from the tree will then be used to help build a home for those in need.
“We are thrilled that lumber for the tree will once again be used to build homes with Habitat partner families…During the holiday season the tree brings joy to millions around the world, and we hope that it will now continue bringing joy to a family for generations to come,” Rockefeller Center managing sales director, Keith Douglas, said last year.
The tree will be lit up by a reported five miles of Christmas lights on Wednesday evening during the NBC special, hosted by Today anchors Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie. The 81st annual tree lighting special will also feature performances by Kelly Clarkson, who is gearing up for a Holiday special of her own, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande and more. It was just announced that previous The X-Factor U.K. version winner, Leona Lewis, will also be performing.
Lewis, perhaps best known for her chart-topping inaugural hit “Bleeding Love,” is also releasing a Christmas album titled Christmas, With Love. The ten-track album features a handful of Holiday classics, such as “Silent Night” and “Winter Wonderland,” as well as three new original songs.
Lewis is not the only performer of the night promoting a Christmas album. Clarkson, the first winner of American Idol, recently released her Christmas album Wrapped in Red.
Clarkson’s own Christmas special, Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Tale, is set to air one week later, on Dec. 11, also on NBC. And one week after that, NBC continues on it’s Holiday music specials with an hour of Michael Bublé airing Dec. 18.
Directly following Christmas in Rockefeller, NBC will air a Saturday Night Live Christmas special, aptly titled "SNL Christmas," which will consist of a collection of holiday-themed sketches from previous seasons.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong