By Marnie Hunter, CNN
The kickoff to the Christmas season in New York City isn’t complete without the annual tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. That tradition is scheduled for Wednesday evening, November 30.
The ticketed VIP tree-lighting experience — with prime viewing, canapes and cocktails — is sold out, but spectators in New York can jockey for space around Rockefeller Plaza for a first peek at the illuminated tree. There are public viewing areas on 49th and 50th streets.
NBC will bring the lighting to the rest of the country (and New Yorkers who would rather stay home) with a holiday special starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton are set to do a televised duet of “You Make It Feel Like Christmas.”
The Radio City Rockettes, Andrea Bocelli, Mickey Guyton and Alicia Keys are among the other performers who will appear on the two-hour special.
This year’s tree is an 82-foot-tall (25-meter-tall) Norway spruce from Queensbury, New York. The tree weighs about 14 tons and is 85 to 90 years old.
The tree will feature more than 50,000 multicolored LED lights, and it’s topped with a Swarovski star covered in 3 million crystals.
After the lighting on November 30, the tree will be lit daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., and it will be illuminated for 24 hours on Christmas Day. On New Year’s Eve, it will be lit from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
After the tree comes down on a yet-to-be-determined date, it is set to be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.
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Top image: The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting on December 1, 2021. (Photo by Anthony Behar/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)