WABC-TV is the co-sponsor.
The celebration features music, food, and the annual lighting of the tree. The Chapin family will headline this year's music.
Eyewitness News Anchor Sade Baderinwa led the ceremony to light up the tree, a 27-foot white fur with ornaments made by students throughout the city.
Three dozen area restaurants are participating, selling small plates of food for $1 to $4.
Stores are open late in the area, many with live performances and art projects for kids.