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'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' airs Wednesday on 9NEWS

More than 50,000 multicolored LED lights and a Swarovski star will be lit at 7 p.m. on 9NEWS.

NEW YORK — The annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center tree lighting special airs Wednesday, Dec. 2 on NBC and 9NEWS. The special begins at 7 p.m. MT.

“Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker will host the popular annual live telecast from Manhatttan.

The broadcast will showcase the lighting of the iconic tree in Rockefeller Plaza and feature festive performances by Kelly Clarkson, Dolly Parton, Goo Goo Dolls, Earth Wind & Fire, Jimmy Fallon, Brett Eldredge, Tori Kelly, Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix, Dan + Shay, Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor, the cast of "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and the Radio City Rockettes.

Clarkson and Eldredge are set to perform together, and duet partners include Parton/Fallon, plus Trainor/Earth, Wind & Fire, according to NBC.

The 88th annual holiday special will lead up to the lighting of the 75-foot-tall, 45-foot-wide Norway spruce at Rockefeller Center. The tree has been dressed up with over 50,000 multicolored LED lights and topped with a Swarovski star.

This year's spruce has received worldwide attention after a worker setting up the tree discovered a northern saw-whet owl inside. The owl, dubbed Rockefeller, made the 170-mile journey from upstate New York to the Big Apple in the tree.

Credit: AP
In this photo provided by the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center, Ravensbeard Wildlife Center Director and founder Ellen Kalish holds a Saw-whet owl at their facility in Saugerties, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. A worker helping to get the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City found the tiny owl among the tree's massive branches on Monday, Nov. 16. Now named Rockefeller, the owl was brought to the Ravensbeard Wildlife Center for care. (Lindsay Possumato/Ravensbeard Wildlife Center via AP)

The bird was taken to New York's Ravensbeard Wildlife Center where she dined on mice before being released back into the wild. The center said that the northern saw-whet owl is one of the smallest in the northeast.

Frontier Airlines has announced the tiny owl will be honored with a new Airbus A320neo aircraft tail set to take flight in 2021. Rocky the Owl joins more than 100 other animal tails in Frontier's fleet.

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Credit: NBC


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