Watch NBC's “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” Lighting

NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” brought laughter and joy with appearances by “Saturday Night Live’s” Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Colin Jost, and Kenan Thompson.

Viewers were treated to a holiday performance by the cast of “Mean Girls” on Broadway prior to the iconic tree lighting on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Watch here. 

As previously announced, NBC’s “Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin, Al Roker will host the holiday special. Musical acts Chicago, Brett Eldredge, Derek & Julianne Hough, Jon Bon Jovi, John Legend, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, NE-YO, Gwen Stefani, Straight No Chaser, Skylar Astin & Alex Newell from NBC's midseason drama, "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist” performed, and Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin and the Radio City Rockettes appeared during the evening.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back 1931 during the Great Depression. The first official tree-lighting ceremony occurred two years later in 1933, in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast 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.

The 87th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 77-foot tall, 46-foot wide Norway Spruce from Village of Florida in Orange County, N.Y. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 70-75 years old. It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs and will be topped with a stunning Swarovski star.

After the tree leaves Rockefeller Center, it will be milled into lumber for donation to Habitat for Humanity and used to build homes in the region.

NBCUniversal is celebrating the 11th year of our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, kicking off with “Christmas in Rockefeller Center.” The campaign will support tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas. NBCUniversal’s $25,000 donation will restore communities across the United States that have been destroyed by recent wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters. The more than 100,000 trees planted since the partnership’s inception have helped to rebuild forests and communities for future generations to enjoy.

“Christmas in Rockefeller Center” is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Debbie Palacio directs.

For more information on “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” visithttp://www.nbc.com/christmas-in-rockefeller-center

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