Tuesday, November 28, 2017

85th 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' Airs Wednesday Night

Christmas in Rockefeller Center 2017
Last year's tree. (NBC)

 TV 

This year's annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center TV special from NBC is packed with musical guests this week including Harry Connick Jr., Auli’i Cravalho (from the new NBC series Rise), Seal, Train, Brett Eldredge, Jennifer Nettles, Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix, Gwen Stefani and The Tenors in the festive celebration. NBC News’ Today anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker are set to host. The special airs at 8:00 p.m. Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on select NBC stations (7-8 p.m. ET). Check local listings.

The 85th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 75-foot tall, 50-foot wide Norway Spruce from State College, Penn. The tree weighs approximately 13 tons and is approximately 80 years old. It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs and will be topped with a stunning Swarovski star made up of 25,000 crystals and one million facets.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1933, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA 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 1953-55.

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