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`Christmas in Rockefeller Center` key art. (NBCUniversal photo)
"Christmas in Rockefeller Center" key art. (NBCUniversal photo)

NBC's 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' special returns Dec. 4 to celebrate & revel in festive holiday season


Fri, Nov 29th 2019 07:00 am

‘Today’ anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin & Al Roker will host annual live telecast from midtown Manhattan

NBC celebrates the holiday season in style with its popular “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special on Wednesday, Dec. 4 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).

Just before the lighting of the iconic tree in Rockefeller Plaza, audiences will be treated to festive performances by Chicago, Brett Eldredge, Derek and Julianne Hough, John Legend, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, NE-YO, Gwen Stefani, Straight No Chaser, Skylar Astin and Alex Newell from NBC's midseason drama, "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist,” and appearances by Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin and the Radio City Rockettes.

“Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker will host the joyous event.

“NBC is proud to be the home to the most iconic tree-lighting ceremony in the country,” said Doug Vaughan, executive vice president, special programs, NBC Entertainment. “We are thrilled to have an incredible lineup of performers, along with our hosts, as we kick off the holiday season.”

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 8-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. 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 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 its 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 U.S. 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.

For more information on “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” visit http://www.nbc.com/christmas-in-rockefeller-center. Follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NBC and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NBC.

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