Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lights Up Thursday

(NBC News) The most famous Christmas tree in the world will be lit tonight, kicking off the holiday season.

The nearly 80 foot tall Norway Spruce will be lit at New York's Rockefeller Plaza.

The tree is covered in 45,000 led lights and topped with a Swarovski crystal star.

The tree has come a long way from the front yard of the Vargoshe family in Connecticut.

"For all the visitors from all over the world that come down to New York especially just to see the tree. It's a big thing," said John Vargoshe whose family donated the tree.

The tradition grows bigger ever year and this year is no exception.

Live performances from a list of entertainers will lead up to the big moment.

Singer Ariana Grande says she is thrilled to be part of the annual event.

"I'm so excited to be a part of the tree lighting ceremony, because I've watched it every single year," said Grande.

For many, the lighting marks the true beginning of the holiday season.

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