How to Watch the 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With the holiday season fast approaching, people can get into the perfect Christmas mood while watching the annual tree lighting from New York City’s Rockefeller Center.

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The Christmas in Rockefeller Center special will feature the illumination of the 79-foot tall and almost 12-ton Norway Spruce as it is decorated at the iconic Manhattan location. This year, the tree will have 50,000 LED lights and a Swarovski crystal star will be placed on top.

Erik Pauze, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center who has chosen the tree for three decades, previously detailed how the search commences each year.

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“What I look for is a tree you would want in your living room, but on a grander scale. It’s got that nice, perfect shape all around. And most of all, it’s gotta look good for those kids who turn the corner at 30 Rock, it needs to instantly put a huge smile on their faces,” Pauze said in an interview with Rockefeller Center Magazine in November. “It needs to evoke that feeling of happiness. This year’s definitely hits the mark, and it’s the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to come from Maryland.”

Pauze also highlighted the amount of hard work that goes into the event all year long.

“We found this year’s tree back in March. From then until May, we checked in on it to see how it fared coming out of the winter … then we started to tend to it, watering and feeding it, as well as thinking about the logistics of moving it to Rockefeller Center,” he added. “Moving the tree is an operation in and of itself that can take months to plan and execute — from wrapping each branch of the tree so it doesn’t bend or snap to compressing the width down so it’s fit for travel.”

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After the tree rings in the holiday season, it is always donated to Habitat for Humanity to be milled, treated and made into lumber for home building.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET on NBC with Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker kicking off the festive special. Viewers can expect to see performances from Carrie Underwood, Mickey Guyton, Harry Connick Jr., Brad Paisley, Alessia Cara, Norah Jones, Rob Thomas and the Radio City Rockettes throughout the night.

The special airs on NBC and will be streaming live on Peacock on Wednesday, December 1, at 8 p.m. ET.

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