The lineup of musical guests for NBC’s 86th annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony has been partially announced, Billboard reported. The ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, November 28, with live performances from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center will be hosted by NBC’s Today anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin. Although the full lineup is yet to come, several popular acts have been revealed so far. Pentatonix, John Legend, Brett Eldredge, Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Darci Lynn Farmer, Martina McBride, and Kellie Pickler are among the list. Television host Howie Mandel is also scheduled to make a guest appearance.
Many of these artists have performed at previous tree lighting ceremonies, such as Eldredge in 2017, Pentatonix in 2017, and Legend in 2006. Last year’s ceremony also included acts like Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Nettles.
The tree lighting ceremony is a free event, open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, according to Town & Country For those who cannot see the lighting in person, NBC will also be airing the event live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. An additional special live hour will be aired on select NBC stations, hosted by Mario Lopez and WNBC’s Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella at 7 p.m. ET.
The tree lighting ceremony has been a New York City tradition for over eight decades. The first official ceremony was held in 1933. In 1951, NBC first televised the event on The Kate Smith Show.
Just five days ago, this year’s tree from Wallkill, New York, arrived at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and West 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues, where it will remain lit until the end of the holiday season. The tree will be available to view daily until January 7, 2019, at 9 p.m, according to the Rockefeller Center website.
This year’s tree is a 72-foot-tall Norway spruce that weights approximately 12 tons and has a 45-foot diamater, an earlier Inquisitr story reported. It is around 75-years-old. The tree, which is owned by Shirley Figuero and Lisette Gutierrez of Wallkill, was scouted for five years before being selected.
Fifty thousand LED lights are used annually to decorate the tree. This year, a brand new Swarovski crystal star sits on the top of the tree, designed by Daniel Libeskind. Libeskind reportedly spent two years designing the tree topper. The completed star contains 3 million small crystals and weighs 900 pounds. This is the first time that the tree topper has been replaced since the original star was added in 2004.