Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting to look different amid pandemic


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The annual tree lighting at Rockefeller Center will look a little different this year amid the pandemic.

What’s normally a crowded holiday event will be closed to the public on Wednesday. Instead, anyone who wants to see the 75-foot Norway spruce lit up in multicolored lights will have to watch from home.

NBC will broadcast “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” beginning at 8 p.m.

Among those scheduled for performances are Kelly Clarkson, Dolly Parton, and Earth, Wind & Fire.

“TODAY Show” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker will host the festivities.

Following the lighting ceremony, the tree will be open to the public Thursday, December 3, 2020 through early January 2021. However, anyone who wishes to see it up close this year will need to buy a ticket in advance.

The tree will be lit from 6 a.m. to midnight every day and viewing rules and social distancing will be strictly enforced by a private security company.

Members of the NYPD and other agencies will be patrolling the area and the city will work as it has in previous years to make sure there’s ample space, including closing off some lanes of traffic, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Rockefeller Center first put up a Christmas tree in 1931 and it became an annual tradition in 1933. This year’s tree came from Oneonta.

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