Rockin’ around the Christmas tree looks different for visitors at Rockefeller Center this year, starting with Wednesday’s tree lighting ceremony.
The tree, a 75-foot Norway spruce, had its holiday lights turned on in an event that was broadcast on television but closed to the public. The telecast used pre-recorded performances from entertainers like Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton, and camera shots of the streets around the tree showed them to be largely empty.
The tree is decorated with 50,000 multi-colored LED lights, and atop the tree sits a 900-pound Swarovski star, covered in three millions crystals. In the days following the lighting until the early part of January, those wishing to take a look at the tree will have to follow a host of rules.