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How to watch the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

NEW YORK — 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

  • What: 86th annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • Date: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
  • When: 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET
  • On TV: Your local NBC station
  • Online stream: Watch on fuboTV. Start a free trial here.

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.

  • Start time: 7 p.m. ET
  • Where: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, located between West 48th and 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues
  • Cost: Free
  • Tickets: No tickets are required, space is first come first served
2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Arrival
The 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a 72-foot tall, 12-ton Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y., pulls into Rockefeller Plaza on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. AP

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 Jan. 6, 2019. On its final day, Jan. 7, the tree will be lit from 5:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.

On Christmas Day, Dec. 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 Nov. 8. The tree was trucked into Rockefeller Plaza on Nov. 10.

Nadja Swarovski And Daniel Libeskind Unveil The 2018 Swarovski Star In Rockefeller Center
A view of the 2018 Swarovski Star atop the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree during the unveiling by Daniel Libeskind and Nadja Swarovski on November 14, 2018 in New York City. Getty

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 Nov. 14, it will also be lit for the first time Wednesday night. A second identical star will be on display in Rockefeller Plaza next to a Swarovski pop-up shop.

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