On Wednesday night, the 75-foot Norway spruce in the center of Rockefeller Center was illuminated with its 50,000 LED bulbs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rob Speyer, President and CEO of Tishman Speyer, which owns and operates Rockefeller Center, did the honors in the closed-to-the-public ceremony.

In spite of the restrictions in place for the tree lighting, people still tried to catch a glimpse of the tree and crowded along Fifth Avenue. The NYPD attempted to block the view:

The public near Rockefeller Center during the tree lighting

Now that the tree is officially lit, the public can see the it, but only under certain pandemic rules.

Tree Viewing Protocols

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 through early January 2021 


  • 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues will be closed to vehicular traffic (limited loading dock access for Rockefeller Center tenants only).
  • Tree viewing entrances located on 49th and 50th Streets at 5th and 6th Avenues ONLY.
  • Dedicated tree viewing zones located on 49th and 50th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues ONLY.
  • The Rink at Rockefeller Center will be accessible on 49th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.​


  • The Tree will be lit from 6 a.m. to midnight every day.
  • Virtual queuing will be activated to manage lines. Guests can scan a QR code to see wait time and receive an SMS to return to the line.
  • Five-minute tree viewing limit.
  • Masks mandated at all times.​
  • Six feet social distancing will be enforced.
  • Guests will be directed to delineated pods, spaced six feet apart, with no more than four people in one pod. Groups of more than four people will be separated into two pods.​
  • Center Plaza, where the tree is physically located, will be closed to the public.
  • Entrance to tree viewing and social distancing will be managed by Tishman Speyer security.


  • The Channel Gardens (gardens located between 49th and 50th Streets just west of 5th Avenue) will be open for retail customers and tenants only, not open for tree viewing.
  • Shops and restaurants in the Concourse can be accessed from 49th and 50th Streets.
  • Rockefeller Center tenants will have regular access to their spaces with tenant ID.

You can also see the tree at Rockefeller Center's website.

Last night's lighting ceremony was presented to the public through an NBC broadcast that featured a mixture of live and pre-taped performances (Dolly Parton! Earth, Wind, and Fire and Meghan Trainor! The Goo Goo Dolls! Tori Kelly!) and the Today Show crew: