Between the annual presentation of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Christmas in Rockefeller Center, NBC pretty much has the goods to usher in the Christmas season. The 84th annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center will air this Wednesday, November 30 with a long list of celebrities and performers including Jordan Smith, Pentatonix, and Tony Bennett.
Hosted by Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Hoda Kotb from the Today show, this year mark’s the network’s 19th telecast of the tree lighting ceremony. Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon will do the honors of lighting this year’s Christmas tree, a Norway Spruce that stands 94 feet tall, weighs about 14 tons, and will be weighted down even more with 50,000 multi-colored LED lights.
Performers for the upcoming TV special began practicing for the event earlier this week, much to the delight of crowds walking by. For Jordan Smith, the tree-lighting ceremony caps off his incredible year. After winning the ninth season of NBC’s The Voice in 2015, he became the bestselling artist in the history of the show with sales of 1.5 million singles in six months and placing eight songs to iTunes’ Top 10. He has already released two albums, Something Beautiful in March and his Christmas release, Tis the Season, in October. He appeared on last night’s CMA Country Christmas special on ABC and has been on tour with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith’s Christmas tour this year as well.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center is a good fit for Pentatonix since the a cappella group has released three holiday albums in just five years (not to mention four other album releases as well) and serves as a precursor for their own upcoming A Pentatonix Christmas Special airing on December 14 also on NBC.
This Christmas should be a special one for Tony Bennett who is also performing during the Christmas in Rockefeller Center special. He’ll be celebrating his 90th birthday with his own TV special, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, on December 16.
For Dolly Parton, the special makes a great introduction to her made-for-TV movie, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, which appears after Wednesday’s special at 9 p.m. It is a follow-up to last year’s Coat of Many Colors and is based on Dolly’s life.
Other performers scheduled to appear on Christmas in Rockefeller Center include Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood (who also have a new Christmas album out this year), Tori Kelly (who lent her voice to the upcoming animated movie Sing), Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan, The Roots, Anthony Hamilton & the HamilTones, and the Radio City Rockettes.
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The very first unofficial tree ceremony held at Rockefeller Center occurred in December 1931 when a group of demolition workers at the Center’s construction site collected money to purchase a 20-foot-tall Christmas tree. The tree was later decorated with handmade garlands created by the worker’s families. Today, 83 years later, it is estimated that more than half a million people will pass by the tree every day.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center airs on Wednesday, November 30 at 8 p.m. on NBC.
[Featured Image by NBC]