With a short countdown, the 78-foot Rockefeller Center Christmas tree burst into light Wednesday evening after a massive party, despite rain and security restrictions that included a ban on umbrellas.
The pre-show went on, including a live performance by Sting, before the 10-ton Norway Spruce Christmas tree came to life with 45,000 LED lights.
The NBC telecast of "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" began at 8 p.m. with the actual lighting just before 9 p.m.
The tree is illuminated by 45,000 multi-colored LED lights on 5 miles of wire. It's the 12th year a Swarovski star has topped the tree.
The tree will be lit every day from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. until Jan. 7., except for Christmas, when it will be lit for 24 hours and New Year's Eve, when it will be lit until 9 p.m.
After it goes down, the tree will be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.