Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony 2018: Street Closures And What To Know

Whether you’re trying to go, or trying to avoid it,  there one sure thing–you won’t want to be driving through Midtown on Wednesday. Here are all the road closures, times and places for this years Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Nothing says Christmas like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and it’s finally time to illuminate it again! Whether you want to go to the festivities, or you want to avoid them like the plague, getting around the city will be no easy feat. According to the Department of Transportation, Wednesday, November 28, is a Gridlock Alert Day  meaning “drivers can expect that travel through Midtown will take twice as long as a typical day of week.”

All the street closures near Rockefeller Center, courtesy of the NYPD:

  • Fifth Avenue between 46th Street and 52nd Street
  • Sixth Avenue between 46th Street and 52nd Street
  • 46th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • 47th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • 48th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • 49th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • 50th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • 51st Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • 52nd Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue
  • Rockefeller Plaza between 48th Street and 51st Street

If you are planning on seeing the ceremony, with all the above closures, public transportation will be your best bet, but expect to be stuck in “pedlock” at the subway stations closest to Rockefeller CenterBlockades will begin closing off the streets in the afternoon in preparation.

As usual, this year’s ceremony is attracting big-names with performances by Diana Ross, John Legend, Tony Bennet, Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, Martina McBride, Pentatonix, Kellie Pickler, and a special appearance by Howie Mandel. The tree’s 50,000 lights will be illuminated from 5:30 a.m. through 11:30 p.m. every night until January 6, 2019 but will be lit for a full 24-hours on Christmas Day. It was also light up from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. on January 7.

The 86th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will kick off at 7 p.m. at Rockefeller Plaza (between 49th and 50th Streets, Fifth and Sixth Avenues) and is expected to continue until 9 p.m., when the tree is officially turned on!

The 72-foot Norway Spruce from Wallkill, New York will be topped this year with a brand new star covered in 3-million Swarovski crystals.  Once the tree has finished it’s duties at the Rock it will be made into lumber to build homes for the needy courtesy of Habitat for Humanity.

[Featured image source: Photo Modified/flickr/Mickaël T./CC by 2.0]

 

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