2008_12_rotree.jpgTonight marks the 76th Christmas tree-lighting ceremony for the city's most famous holiday spruce in Rockefeller Center. This year's 72-footer will be lit up at exactly 8:58 p.m., shining 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights on what's sure to be a large crowd (though last year people complained it wasn't bright enough).

Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, Jr., Jamie Foxx and Beyonce will all be on hand to croon holiday favorites (and probably that "Single Ladies" song); while rumors circulated that Britney would be making an appearance, she just pre-taped a segment for the ceremony. You can watch it live online, or fight the holiday masses (the Dept. of Transportation is offering up some tips to fight the seasonal gridlock).

Ever wonder what happens to the massive tree when it's out of the spotlight? 1010 Wins reports that last year's was used to make two-by-fours to help build a new home for a family who lost theirs during Hurricane Katrina.

Photo via WallyG's flickr.