WASHINGTON – Hallmark Channel, the country’s leading destination for holiday programming, and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, announced today that the network will exclusively broadcast the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. The hour-long special will feature a live concert, a lineup of A-list hosts, presenters, and performers, and the lighting of the tree. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has participated in this ceremony. Hallmark Channel will be the first ad-supported television network to air the special, which will be broadcast in December as part of the network’s top-rated annual holiday initiative, Countdown to Christmas.
“The National Christmas Tree Lighting and Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas are two of the most beloved American holiday traditions, making this partnership a perfect fit,” said Bill Abbott, president & CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “We are incredibly honored to be the only network on television to broadcast this special event and look forward to sharing it with our millions of viewers.”
“We are excited to welcome the Hallmark Channel as the official broadcast partner of the 2016 National Christmas Tree Lighting,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “Set in President’s Park, one of our nation’s 410 national parks, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is a celebrated holiday tradition. This year, as we recognize the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, we are honored to have Hallmark and their millions of viewers join us as we usher in the next 100 years of these national treasures.”
Held in early December, the event officially kicks off the holiday season in our nation’s capital and coast to coast. The event is attended by approximately 20,000 government leaders, local citizens, and tourists. Initiated by United States President Calvin Coolidge, the tree lighting is a 94-year-old American tradition that showcases the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park, alongside 56 smaller trees, which represent the states, territories, and D.C.
ABOUT HALLMARK CHANNEL
Hallmark Channel is Crown Media Family Networks’ flagship 24-hour cable television network, distributed nationwide in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to 89 million homes. The country’s leading destination for quality family entertainment, Hallmark Channel delivers on the 100-year legacy of the Hallmark brand. In addition to its signature original movies, the network features an ambitious lineup of other original content, including scripted primetime series, such as Good Witch and When Calls the Heart; annual specials like Kitten Bowl and Hero Dog Awards and; a daily 2-hour lifestyle show, Home & Family. Additionally, in November 2014, Hallmark Channel became the exclusive home to world premiere presentations of the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise. Dedicated to helping viewers celebrate life’s special moments, Hallmark Channel also offers such annual holiday programming events as Countdown to Christmas and Countdown to Valentine’s Day. Rounding out the network’s diverse slate are television’s most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Middle, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier.
Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWN), owns and operates Crown Media Family Networks.
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, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and INSPIRE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a $350 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.