The tree lighting was first televised in 1951 on NBC. Several thousand people now watch the event live in Rockefeller Center -- shown above in 2012 -- while an additional audience of millions watches from home. Reuters

One of New York's most beloved Christmas sights is ready to put on her spectacular show of lights. And you are guaranteed a front row seat at the Christmas extravaganza as tens of thousands witness the festive event.

Airing on Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST, NBC’s "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" special features performances by acts such as Ashanti, Leona Lewis, Toni Braxton and Ariana Grande. The live broadcast of the annual Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center is from 8 to 9 p.m. The lighting takes places at 8:55.

Ahead of the network televison special, viewers can tune into New York's WNBC and other NBC stations at 7 p.m. to view the first hour of the ceremony.

This marks the 81st year of the celebration, with this year's Norway spruce tree measuring 76 feet tall, 47 feet in diameter and weighing a total of 12 tons, reports KNTV. The tree has been decorated with more than 45,000 multi-colored, energy efficient LED lights. Following the ceremony, the tree will be lit from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every week and for 24 hours on Christmas Day. The tree will be up through Jan 7, 2014.