Watch Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting 2012: An 80 Years Tradition Continues with Victoria Justice and Mariah Carey

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. For many people, the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center symbolizes the true beginning of the holiday season. The festive ceremony happens every year on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, and this Wednesday just so happens to be that very day. If you want to join in on the celebration, all the holiday fun and good cheer will be televised in a one-hour special Wednesday night on NBC at 8/7 central. 

The tradition of the tree at Rockefeller Center dates back to the Great Depression when in the 1930's the first tree, only 20 feet tall, was set up by construction workers. Since those early years, the tree has grown in size and spectacle until today's tree which is roughly 80 feet tall and 50 feet in diameter. 

The tradition of televising the ceremony began in 1951 and has been going strong for the 61 years since. Tonight's telecast will include performances by Mariah Carey, Trace Adkins, CeeLo Green, Victoria Justice, Rod Steweart, Chris Mann, and Il Volo. Christmas carols will ensue. There will also be appearances by Bette Midler and Billy Crystal. NBC and the tree lighting powers that be did an excellent job at zeroing in on nearly every demographic. 

This year's Christmas tree is estimated to be 80 years old, just as old as the tradition of Christmas trees at Rockefeller Center. You'll be able to watch the tree lighting here live: 


For a little anticipatory cheer, check out the footage of last year's tree lighting ceremony. 


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Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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