The National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony takes place each year on the grounds of the Ellipse, south of the White House. With musical performances, and a message of hope and peace, this event kicks off the annual National Christmas Tree program, which runs until January 1st.
In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit a Christmas Tree on the grounds of the Ellipse. Every year, we continue that tradition, with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. In 1954, 56 smaller trees were planted around the National Christmas Tree, representing the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. Each year, these trees are decorated by organizations from every state.
The Pathway of Peace and the National Christmas Tree are free to visit and open to the public December 2through January 1, 2023. The National Christmas Tree and the 58 smaller trees that surround the tree turn on around sunset each evening and turn off promptly at 10 pm Sunday-Thursday and 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. For more information on visiting the National Christmas Tree, click here.
The 2023 National Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on November 30. CBS will broadcast the ceremony on December 15th.
For more information, visit: www.thenationaltree.org.
*Photo source: Recreation.gov
The National Christmas Tree Lighting
Admission: Tickets are available by lottery in October or early November for the lighting ceremony. After the lighting ceremony the attraction is free.
Parking: No on-street parking is available by the White House. Visitors are strongly urged to use public transportation. Limited parking is available along Constitution Avenue between 15th and 17th Streets on evenings and weekends.
Metrorail: Federal Triangle on Orange and Blue lines; Metro Center on Orange, Blue, and Red lines; McPherson Square on Orange and Blue lines.