New York City Kicks off Holiday Season With Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center

·2 min read
89th Rockefeller Tree Lighting in NYC
89th Rockefeller Tree Lighting in NYC

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty

New York City kicked off the holiday season Wednesday with one of its most monumental traditions: The Christmas Tree Lighting at Rockefeller Center.

After a brief hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was brought back and open to the public. Large crowds packed the Rockefeller Center to witness the lighting of the 79-foot tree that featured a whopping 50,000 LED rainbow colored lights strung on approximately 5 miles of wire.

The Norway spruce is topped with a crystal covered, 900-pound star that includes 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

This year's ceremony marked NBC's 89th lighting ceremony and was hosted by TODAY anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker.

Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker --
Craig Melvin, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker --

Ralph Bavaro/NBC

There was no shortage of entertainment with musical performances by Carrie Underwood, Mickey Guyton, José Feliciano and CNCO, Brad Paisley, Harry Connick Jr., Norah Jones, Rob Thomas and Alessia Cara, with the Radio City Rockettes taking part in the celebration.

Paisley sang a rendition of the 1965 Buck Owens country classic, "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy."

RELATED: Your Guide to the 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, Including Who's Performing and How to Watch

brad paisley
brad paisley

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Connick performed "It Must've Been Ol' Santa Claus," a hit from his first Christmas album dating back to the 90s and Underwood belted out "Let There Be Peace," from her 2020 Christmas album.

Country star Mickey Guyton did not disappoint fans when she sang, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

RELATED: 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Chosen — See How it Compares to 2020's Controversial Fir

PEOPLE previously reported the Norway Spruce at this year's ceremony made history as the first Christmas tree from Maryland. The 12-ton tree traveled 140 miles from the town of Elkton and arrived in NYC on Nov. 13.

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