Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lit Tonight on NBC33

POSTED: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 10:54am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:59pm

Tonight in New York City, the 77th annual tree lighting ceremony takes place in Rockefeller Center. Taking center stage, is this 10 ton Norway Spruce.

At 76 feet tall, this year's tree will twinkle with the help of 30 thousand energy efficient light bulbs, and on top, the Swarowski crystal star.

This season's tree had its roots in Easton, Connecticut on Maria Corti's property. She nominated the towering tree months ago, saying it would make a good Rockefeller Center tree. "We're here and we pass through and we appreciate and there's a natural beauty to that tree that I think everybody should see," said Corti.

The tree is extra special. It has a rare double trunk and two tops. But standing tall in The Plaza, the treetop is tied together as one. Tonight, before the tree is illuminated, celebrities and musicians will perform in a televised special. They include Barry Manilow, Alicia Keys and Shakira.

"It's very exciting, my dad was born in Manhattan and I never had the chance to perform at the tree lighting ceremony so it is good news to me and a new exciting experience," said Shakira. And a tradition that kicks off the holiday season.