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Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting 2018: When it is & more

The tree lighting, as usual, includes a free concert.

On Saturday, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree arrived. The tree was donated by Lissette Gutierrez and her wife, Shirley Figueroa, from their home property in upstate Wallkill.  (Credit: Linda Rosier)

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree – one of the biggest beacons of the holiday season – is set to sparkle Nov. 28, with more than 50,000 multicolored LEDs – that’s more than 5 miles of stringed lights, Rock Center says – and a Swarovski crystal star.

If you're planning to ring in the festivities, here's some information about this year’s tree and what you need to know to see it in full-illumination mode.

We'll continue to update with details as we get them.

When is the tree lighting?

The lighting will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Thousands of people gather for the decades-old tradition, gathering between West 48th and West 51st streets and Fifth and Sixth.

The lighting also airs from 8-10 on NBC's "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" special the same night.

Is the concert worth bundling up to see in person?

Well, that all depends on your musical tastes. This year's performer lineup includes John Legend, who just released his “A Legendary Christmas” holiday album, Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, and more. 

The concert is free, but get there early to ensure a spot. And, of course, you can tune in from the warmth of your home.

Tell me more about the tree.

The 2018 tree is a 72-foot-tall Norway spruce, a 75-year-old from upstate Wallkill, and clocks in at around 12 tons. (It’s five years younger than last year’s 75-foot spruce, which was from State College, Pennsylvania.)

So if I don’t make it to the tree lighting …

No worries. After Nov. 28, it remains lit daily from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. through Jan. 7.

And then what happens to the glorious spruce?

The tree will be turned into lumber and donated to Habitat for Humanity, for the 12th consecutive year.

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