WASHINGTON – This evening, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump lit the National Christmas Tree at President’s Park. This special moment will be featured in the virtual 98th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, accompanied by holiday performances, and will be available to watch on-demand at thenationaltree.org starting at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 3 and throughout the holiday season.
Due to COVID-19-related public health concerns, the National Park Service and National Park Foundation did not host a live audience at the 2020 National Christmas Tree Lighting.
A festive compilation of Christmas lights and music, national parks, and holiday cheer, the 98th National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will bring joy into homes across the country. Performers will include pop artist and American Idol finalist Colton Dixon; country singer/songwriter Jerrod Niemann; country artist Jillian Cardarelli; singer/songwriter Jillian Edwards; country music singer/songwriter and actress Kellie Pickler; country artist and American Idol winner Laine Hardy; country band Leaving Austin; award-winning gospel artist Lynda Randle and her brother, Michael Tait, lead vocalist of the Newsboys; singer/songwriter Matthew West; Passion featuring Melodie Malone; the National Park Service Arrowhead Jazz Band; the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus; the U.S. Navy’s official chorus, The Sea Chanters; and “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.
You’re invited to view the National Christmas Tree and the 56 state, district and territory trees and their ornaments up close daily from Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, 2021.
Lighting the National Christmas Tree is one of America’s oldest holiday traditions. The first lighting took place in 1923. On Christmas Eve that year, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the Oval Office to the Ellipse and pushed a button that lit the first National Christmas Tree. It was a 48-foot balsam fir donated by Middlebury College in Vermont.
Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree which can be viewed year-round in President’s Park – one of America’s 422 national parks. A 30-foot Colorado blue spruce currently serves as the National Christmas Tree.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 422 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. The National Park Service has cared for the White House and its grounds since 1933. President’s Park, which includes the Ellipse and Lafayette Park, was officially included in the national park system in 1961. Visit us at: www.nps.gov, on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter: www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube: www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
The National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help protect more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts and connect all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.