Published On: Tue, Nov 28th, 2023

When it is, how to watch and what to know

The switch will be flipped Wednesday at Rockafeller Center to welcome the holiday season during the 91st tree lighting ceremony.

Kelly Clarkson will host the annual celebration this year, which marks 20 years since her first “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” performance.

“I’m so excited to consider this city and Rockefeller Center my new home, and I can’t imagine a better way to kick off Christmas this year than to be a part of this beautiful New York tradition with the lighting of the tree,” Clarkson said in a statement on Monday.

The pop singer recently moved her talk show to New York, filming at a Rockefeller Center studio.

When and where is the ceremony?

The tree lighting ceremony will kick off at 7 p.m. ET at Rockefeller Center between 49th and 50th Streets in Manhattan.

Clarkson will host and perform during the live national broadcast on NBC and Peacock, which will start at 8 p.m. and conclude when the tree is illuminated just before 10 p.m.

Those attending in person are likely to need to bundle up: A low of 31 degrees is forecast.

What is there to see?

The tree has been an annual tradition for more than eight decades, after workers at the Rockefeller Center first pooled their money to by a 20-foot tall balsam fir in December 1931.

This year’s tree, a Norway Spruce from Vestal, New York, that’s more than 80 years old, is four times taller. Standing at 80-feet tall and 43-feet wide, the tree arrived in Rockefeller Plaza on Nov. 11 and has since been adorned with over 50,000 colored LED lights.

Its crown is a 900-pound Swarovski crystal star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.

Which celebrities will appear at the event?

Clarkson will host the ceremony, and she’ll be joined by NBC’s “TODAY” stars Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin.

A slew of celebrities will also appear at the Rockefeller tree lighting, with several performing throughout the ceremony. Here are some of the big names:

  1. Cher: Following her star performance at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Cher will return for the tree lighting.
  2. Barry Manilow: The 80-year-old singer-songwriter is known for his hits “Copacabana” and “Mandy.”
  3. Keke Palmer: The actress, singer and television host has starred in “Scream Queens,” “Hustlers” and played the main character on teen sitcom ‘True Jackson, VP’ for four years.
  4. Liz Gillies and Seth MacFarlane: “Dynasty” actress Gillies and “Family Guy” creator and voice actor Seth MacFarlane released their debut Christmas album “We Wish You the Merriest” in November.
  5. The Rockettes: Walking over from their usual performing space next door at Radio City, the Rockettes will perform a number from their “Christmas Spectacular.”
  6. Darlene Love: The American singer and actress was dubbed the “Christmas Queen” by David Letterman after she returned annually to sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home” on his show.

Instrumentalist Adam Blackstone, Grammy-award-winning musician David Foster and his wife Katharine McPhee, singer-songwriter Chlöe, country singer Carly Pearce, and Columbian singer Manuel Turizo will also appear at the tree lighting.

When can I see the tree after the ceremony?

The Rockefeller tree will be lighted daily from 5 a.m. until midnight Jan. 13, with the exception of Christmas Day when it will remain illuminated for 24 hours, and New Year’s Eve when it is on from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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