Gearing up for the holiday season? So is our nation’s capital! The annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, hosted by the first family on the White House Ellipse and boasting some big-name talents, is slated for this Friday, Dec. 6.
This is the 91st annual ceremony. Every year since 1923, the tree has been decorated as a Christmas tree, blanketed in lights and topped with a star. Every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has made a statement at the ceremony, and, since 1954, the event has kicked off a monthlong series of events called the Pageant of Peace.
The Pageant of Peace is marked by nightly festivities, including concerts open to the public, through New Year’s Day.
Here’s everything you’ll need to know to enjoy this year’s National Christmas Tree ceremony with the Obamas. You can also follow the official National Tree twitter account for real-time updates.
National Christmas Tree Lighting Location And Transportation
The ceremony is held on the White House Ellipse, the 52-acre park located just south of the White House lawn. The entrance to the ceremony is at the corner of 17th and D streets, NW. The closest subway stop is Farragut West on the Blue/Orange Metro line.
Want to arrive to the event in style? You can also jump on Uber. This year, the car service partnered with the tree lighting ceremony and is offering discounted transportation. First-time users can enter the promo code “NATIONAL TREE” for $20 in savings.
But remember, tickets are required to enter the ceremony. And unfortunately, the lottery to obtain tickets closed in October. Did you miss the lottery? Don’t fret: You can still catch all the action broadcasted live (check your local TV listings) or via an online live stream. Scroll down for more on where to watch the 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting live stream.
Who’s Performing At The 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting
This year’s entertainment lineup shines nearly as bright as the tree itself. Jane Lynch, best-known for her role in the hit TV series “Glee,” will be attending the ceremony. Performers include Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Train and Arturo Sandoval.
2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting Live Stream
Want to watch the ceremony and all the performers without having to brave the cold? The entire ceremony will be broadcasted via an online live stream. You can find the live stream at the event’s website. The show starts at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.
And here’s a preview of Friday’s ceremony, courtesy of the National Park Foundation via YouTube: