President Obama and First Family to Light the National Christmas Tree

Monday, November 28, 2011National Park Foundation

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation announced that President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their family will officially light the National Christmas Tree on Thursday, December 1 at the 89th annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse in President’s Park, one of America’s nearly 400 national parks. The ceremony will be streamed LIVE online at beginning at 4:30pm ET with the exclusive National Christmas Tree Lighting pre-show.

Hosted by television and radio personality Carson Daly, this year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony features a talented lineup of performers. Pop sensation Big Time Rush and singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding will join the previously announced platinum selling band OneRepublic, country music star Rodney Atkins and six-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius for this extraordinary evening of holiday fanfare. The show will also feature a special appearance by Kermit the Frog, star of The Muppets, and of course, the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus.

In addition to the LIVE stream online, the ceremony will also be broadcast nationally on public television throughout the month of December through a partnership with WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital. Check local listings for times or visit for more information.

Originally started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, this year’s ceremony marks the 89th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. The event has become an American holiday tradition. For more information about the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting, visit

The 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation and produced by Alex Coletti Productions.

The premier sponsor of this year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety organization. Now in its fourth year, the premier sponsorship of the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is part of a national safety campaign by UL to encourage families to Commit a Minute to Safety this holiday season. You can learn more at

Other event supporters include GE Lighting, The Coca-Cola Company, Nicolas Holiday, Inc., Amtrak, Guest Services Inc., Hargrove Inc., Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Washington, D.C., Hudler Carolina Tree Farms, Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Performance Video Systems, W Washington, D.C. and the Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C.


The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System and its 397 National Park sites for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The National Park Service works with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world. For more information, visit


You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us in supporting your national parks -- this is your land.