President Barack Obama is set to hold his final national Christmas tree lighting as commander in chief at the White House Thursday afternoon. It will be the 94th installment of the annual ceremony that was started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to light the tree for the eighth and final time on the Ellipse at the White House on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. EST.
The ceremony typically includes a hearty roster of musicians and performers spanning nearly every genre, and this year is no different, according to the National Christmas Tree Lighting website. Eva Longoria is set to host the event, with Yolanda Adams, Marc Anthony, Kelly Clarkson, The Lumineers, Chance the Rapper, James Taylor, Garth Brooks, and Trisha Yearwood all slated to take the stage and perform a medley of holiday tunes, according to the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, which are presenting the ceremony.
The first lady welcomed the national Christmas tree when a horse-drawn carriage transported the 19-foot Balsam fir from Wisconsin to the White House on Friday.
While that tree was planted on the Ellipse, another set of trees, albeit much smaller than the national tree, was being decorated in the White House Dining Room with a host of adornments, including a LEGO gingerbread house, CBS News reported.
Free tickets for the ceremony have already been distributed based on a lottery system. Those without the required tickets but still wish to watch the ceremony can do so via a live stream by clicking here on the White house YouTube channel.
The ceremony will also be televised Monday on the Hallmark Channel at 7 p.m. EST and a video of the ceremony will be available for viewing on the National Christmas Tree Lighting website on Tuesday.