Those planning on admiring Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree in-person this year will have to follow a series of coronavirus-related rules, including cutting their visit short and viewing from inside a pod, numerous sources reported.
Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and developer Tishman Speyer, which owns the property, have reportedly set a five-minute viewing limit at Rockefeller Center. Guests are told to prepare to wait in line to enter viewing pods.
The viewing pods are six feet apart in accordance with coronavirus social distancing guidelines, and can fit four people per pod, a Tishman Speyer spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Headed To Manhattan After Being Cut In Upstate New York)
Those who choose to not wait in a long line may reportedly sign up for a virtual queue, which will alert them when their turn is approaching.
Spectators can begin visiting Rockefeller Center beginning Thursday through early January, when the tree will be lighted between 6 a.m. and midnight each day. The lighting ceremony, however, will be televised and not open to the public. The event can be watched Wednesday on NBC at 7:00 p.m. There will also be a number of performances, including by Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson.
The 88th Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday night will feature performances from Dolly Parton, Meghan Trainor, Kelly Clarkson, Brett Eldredge, Tori Kelly and the Goo Goo Dolls. https://t.co/XyN7Bh6yAx
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 1, 2020
“That’s the best way to see it, to feel that moment,” de Blasio said, according to the Journal.
The 75-foot, 11-ton Norway spruce tree was cut down in Oneonta, located in upstate New York, the Journal reported. The tree was wrapped with roughly 35,000 LED lights and topped with a star made of Swarovski crystals.
— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) November 25, 2020
A number of other holiday traditions have been altered or canceled due to the pandemic.
Macy’s won’t be hosting Santa Claus this year, disrupting a nearly 160-year tradition. Due to the crowds the event attracts to the store’s Santaland packed with toys, Christmas trees and elves, the company will instead offer a free online experience on its website to “safely bring the magic of Santa Claus to children of all ages this year.”