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NEW YORK Despite a chilly night, a crowd of 200,000 filled Rockefeller Center to watch the annual tree lighting ceremony, with NBC's Today show co-hosts Ann Curry and Al Roker playing M.C. again this year. After a slew of performances by singers including Sheryl Crow, Michelle Branch and Barry Manilow, New York Mayor Michael Bloombergalong with Santa Claus, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Rock Center co-owner Jerry Speyerflipped the switch for the 30,000 lights decorating the 76-foot tree.
Local affiliate WNBC's program director Adele Rifkin andTrans World International's Steve Mayer produced the made-for-television event, which aired nationwide on NBC.
The surrounding restaurants operated by Restaurant Associates hosted several V.I.P. parties during the festivities: Talent and execs from NBC and parent company General Electric took to the Rock Center Cafe, while the Sea Grill hosted a party for Rock Center owner Tishman Speyer.
Read about last year's tree lighting ceremony...