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NBC to light Rockefeller Christmas tree on Wednesday

More than 50,000 multicolored LED lights and a Swarovski star will be lit at 7 p.m. on 9NEWS.

NEW YORK — The annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree lighting special airs Wednesday, Dec. 1 on NBC. The special begins at 7 p.m. MT on 9NEWS.

“Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker will host the popular annual live telecast from Manhattan.

The broadcast will showcase the lighting of the iconic tree in Rockefeller Plaza and feature festive performances by José Feliciano & CNCO, Pentatonix, Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood and the Radio City Rockettes.

The 89th annual holiday special will lead up to the lighting of the 79-foot-tall, 46-foot-wide Norway spruce from Elkton, Maryland at Rockefeller Center. The tree has been dressed up with over 50,000 multicolored LED lights and topped with its traditional Swarovski star.

This year's ceremony will also stream on Peacock for the first time.

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Credit: NBC

Last year's spruce received worldwide attention after a worker setting up the tree discovered a northern saw-whet owl inside. The owl, dubbed Rockefeller, made the 170-mile journey from upstate New York to the Big Apple in the tree.

The bird was taken to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in the Hudson Valley, where she dined on mice before returning to the wild. The center said the northern saw-whet owl is one of the smallest in the northeast.

The owl was honored with her own Frontier Airlines' plane tail as well as a children's book.

Credit: Ravensbeard Wildlife Center
A Saw-whet owl that was found in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree as it was being transported in November 2020.
Credit: Ravensbeard Wildlife Center
A Saw-whet owl that was found in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree as it was being transported in November 2020.

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