Start Time, Road Closures, Where To Watch

The annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, hosted by the first family on the White House Ellipse, will begin Thursday at 4:30 p.m. EST. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania, and other Trump family members will be present for the 95th National Christmas Tree lighting.

“In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white and green, as a local choir and a ‘quartet’ from the U.S. Marine Band performed,” states the National Christmas Tree website. “93 years later, this American holiday tradition continues to bring citizens together to share in a message of hope and peace.”

Every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt made a statement at the ceremony, and, since 1954, the event has kicked off a month-long series of events called the Pageant of Peace.

How to attend

Those who have been awarded tickets through an online lottery can attend the event. 

When and where to watch

For those who cannot attend the event in Washington D.C., the tree lighting celebration can be watched on the Hallmark Channel next Monday, Dec. 4.

Performances

The National Christmas Tree Lighting event will feature performances by the Emmy Award-winning Texas Tenors, country music icon Wynonna, rock ‘n’ roll artists like The Beach Boys, the American Navy Band, Us The Duo, Steve Gibson, Mannheim Steamroller, Jack Wagner, and Boys II Bow Ties.

Road closures

These roads will be closed Thursday from noon to 8 pm:

  • 17th Street, NW between Pennsylvania Ave and Constitution Ave, NW
  • C Street, NW between 17th and 18th Streets, NW
  • D Street, NW between 17th and 18th Streets, NW
  • E Street, NW between 17th and 18th Streets, NW
  • F Street, NW between 17th and 18th Streets, NW
  • G Street, NW between 17th and 18th Streets, NW
  • New York Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets, NW

These roads will be closed 2 pm through 8 pm: Traffic will still be allowed to flow south on 15th Street from Madison Drive.

  • Constitution Ave, NW between 18th Street and 14th Street, NW
  • 15th Street between H Street, NW and Madison Drive, NW
  • 17th Street between Constitution Ave and Independence Ave, SW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue, NW between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
  • E Street, NW between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
  • F Street, NW between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
  • G Street, NW between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
  • New York Avenue, NW between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW

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