NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” will air on NBC and KSN at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The evening will feature performances by José Feliciano & CNCO and Pentatonix as well as a special performance by the cast from the Tony and Olivier Award-winning hit Broadway musical “Come From Away” prior to the iconic tree lighting.
The new additions join previously announced performers Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood and the Radio City Rockettes. NBC News’ co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin are set to host.
The 89th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 79-foot tall, 46-foot wide Norway Spruce from Elkton, Md. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons, will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored energy-efficient LED lights and topped with a stunning Swarovski star.
The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to 1931 during the Great Depression. The first official tree-lighting ceremony occurred two years later in 1933 in front of the current Comcast Building. The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating rink. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55.
Following “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” the “Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around” holiday spectacular will air at 9 p.m. It is timed to the release of her new holiday album.
Brett Eldredge, Ariana Grande, Jay Leno, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Odom Jr., Amy Poehler and the one-and-only Santa Claus will join Clarkson and some special everyday heroes with life-changing surprises.
On Thursday night, NBC will air a live production of “Annie Live” at 7 p.m.