9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments

UPDATED 12/04/2013 at 04:20 PM EST Originally published 12/03/2013 at 12:00 PM EST

Celebrity Photos from the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting on Nov. 28, 2012 in New York
Stan Honda/AFP/Getty
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting, which takes place on Wednesday night in N.Y.C., has been an institution for 80 years.

And since its first broadcast in 1951, the ceremony has become a showcase for more than just the spectacular spruce. As Time notes, Barbara Walters, Bob Hope, Lily Tomlin and Liza Minnelli all participated in the festivities at some point.

In fact, recent years have seen the event grow into an even more star-studded affair. Here are some of the strangely memorable moments that have transpired over the past two decades.

1. The time a nun made out with Mickey Mouse.

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Nuns from the New Jersey convent that donated the tree with Mickey Mouse on Dec. 5, 1995

Andrew Savulich / NY Daily News / Getty



2. The time Britney Spears celebrated her 18th birthday, and innocence was officially out of fashion.

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Britney Spears at Rockefeller Center on Dec. 1, 1999

Joe Vericker / Getty



3. The time Destiny's Child hung out with a brunette Jessica Simpson. (And Beyoncé made her own furry fashion statement with some strategically placed pom-poms.)

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center, Destiny's Child, Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Simpson

Destiny's Child and Jessica Simpson on Nov. 28, 2001

KMazur / WireImage



4. The time a then-unknown Elisabeth Moss did the Miley ... way back in 2003.

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Elisabeth Moss on Dec. 3, 2003

Scott Gries / Getty



5. The time Michael Bublé and Chris Isaak almost got into a fight. Simmer down, fellas.

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Michael Buble and Chris Isaak at the lighting on Nov. 30, 2004

Mark Von Holden / FilmMagic



6. The time Aretha Franklin showed how to effectively beat the cold, as only Aretha can.

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Aretha Franklin at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 2, 2009

Bryan Bedder / Getty



7. The time Mariah Carey channeled Little Red Riding Hood, as only Mariah can.

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Mariah Carey on Nov. 30, 2010

Theo Wargo / WireImage



8. The time Justin Bieber dueted with Busta Rhymes on a stirring rendition of "Little Drummer Boy."

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes at the the Rock Center Christmas Tree Lighting on Nov. 23, 2011

Aby Baker / Getty





9. The time Cee-Lo performed with the Muppets. Can this group just become an official, year-round thing?

9 Wonderfully Weird Rockefeller Tree-Lighting Moments| Christmas, Rockefeller Center

Cee Lo Green and the Muppets on Nov. 28, 2012

Gilbert Carrasquillo / FilmMagic

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