News Release

5 Dates to Remember for the 2017 National Christmas Tree Lighting

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Date: September 13, 2017
Contact: Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles (NPS)
Contact: Alanna Sobel (NPF)

WASHINGTON– As you start making your holiday plans, be sure the 2017 National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse at President’s Park (White House) is on your radar. Co-presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, this beloved American tradition is celebrating its 95th year.


Here are the five dates to remember for this year’s tree lighting ceremony:

  • October 12 at 10 a.m. EDT: Free ticket lottery opens

  • October 16 at 10 a.m. EDT: Free ticket lottery closes

  • October 30: lottery winners will be notified

  • November 30: National Christmas Tree Lighting takes place in President’s Park

  • December 4: The National Christmas Tree Lighting airs exclusively on Hallmark Channel


Free tickets for the event are awarded through an online lottery, which opens at 10 a.m. EDT on Friday, October 12 and closes at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, October 16. To enter the lottery, visit and click the ‘TICKET LOTTERY’ link. Those without computer access may call 877-444-6777 (TDD 877-833-6777) to enter the lottery. Lottery winners will be notified on October 30.


Dating back to President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, the National Christmas Tree Lighting is a great example of the countless ways there are to #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque. As a bonus, here are four additional fun facts about this great holiday tradition:

  • This is the second year that the Hallmark Channel has partnered with the National Park Foundation to exclusively broadcast the ceremony

  • The National Christmas Tree is a living tree that can be found in President’s Park year-round

  • The National Christmas Tree is a Colorado blue spruce from Virginia

  • There will be 56 smaller trees surrounding the National Christmas Tree featuring one-of-a-kind ornaments, representing every U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia


Additional information, including talent announcements and coverage logistics for news media will be shared at a later date.


Last updated: September 13, 2017

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