By Kate Smith CBS News November 27, 2018, 8:10 PM How to watch the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
Nothing kicks off the holiday season quite like the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting. Whether you're watching from home or plan to go see the spectacle in person, here's how to enjoy this annual tradition.
How to watch the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting on TV or online
How to see the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting in person
If you're in New York and willing to brave the cold, you can join thousands of other holiday revelers and watch the 86th annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting in person. Because the event is free and doesn't require a ticket, it's recommended to arrive early to make sure you get a spot.
Who's performing at the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
The list of stars performing at the this year's tree lighting event includes: Diana Ross , Tony Bennett , Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge , Darci Lynne Farmer , John Legend , Martina McBride , Pentatonix , Kellie Pickler , and a special appearance by Howie Mandel .
How to visit the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
If you're busy Wednesday night, not to worry. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be on display the entire holiday season. After the initial lighting Wednesday night, the tree will be lit from 5:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. every day through January 6, 2019. On its final day, January 7, the tree will be lit from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.
On Christmas Day, December 25, the tree will remain lit for 24 hours.
The details on this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
Each year, a tree is traditionally donated to be displayed in Rockefeller Center. This year's tree is a 72-foot tall, 12-ton Norway Spruce that hails from Wallkill, New York, coming from the home of Shirley Figueroa and Lissette Gutierrez, two New Yorkers who recently retired from jobs in the city and moved upstate.
Head Rockefeller Center gardener Erik Pauze first scouted the 75-year-old tree five years ago and his team has been preparing it for Wednesday's lighting since November 8. The tree was trucked into Rockefeller Plaza on November 10.
The tree's topper is a 9-foot, 4-inch tall Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, adorned with 3 million crystals across 70 triangular spikes and backlit by LED lights. Though it was placed atop the tree on November 14, it will also be lit for the first time on Wednesday night. A second identical star will be on display in Rockefeller Plaza next to a Swarovski pop-up shop.