News Release

Students at 56 US schools to create ornaments for National Christmas Tree celebration in Washington, D.C.

State trees at National Christmas Tree display in President's Park
56 trees surround the National Christmas Tree in President’s Park each year. The trees are decorated with ornaments created by students in each state, territory and the District of Columbia.

Paul Morigi for the National Park Foundation

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News Release Date: October 28, 2019

Contact: Katie Liming (NPS), 202-619-7156

Contact: Angela Morabito (U.S. Department of Education)

At 56 schools across the country, students are creating one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 2019 National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse in President’s Park. These handcrafted ornaments will adorn 56 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree. The 56 trees represent each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia as part of the America Celebrates display.

“I never would have imagined I could actually create an ornament for the National Christmas Tree display that represents my entire state!” Kayden Moore, a seventh grade student at Harlem Middle School in Loves Park, Illinois said. “It is an honor that students from our small city were chosen for this once in a lifetime event!”

From state flowers to notable landmarks, students across the country are creating ornaments that celebrate their state, district or territory. Learn about last year’s student artists and ornaments.

“Everyone has a home but not everyone has the honor of representing their home in Washington, D.C.,” Danica Lambert, a seventh grader at St. James–St. John School in New Bedford, Massachusetts said. “My heart is filled with love and joy to be able to represent my home of Massachusetts.”

Through a partnership with the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Education worked with state art and education agencies to identify elementary, middle and high schools whose students would create the ornaments for the America Celebrates display. Over 1,500 students will participate in this year’s project. The project is funded by the National Park Foundation

"I am happy that other people get to see our work!" Brian Hunter, a sixth grade student at Marvin M. Sedway Middle School in North Las Vegas, Nevada, said. "I want to show everyone that we can do it!" 

The America Celebrates display is one of the highlights of the National Christmas Tree experience, which will begin on Thursday, Dec. 5 with the 97th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

56 schools to create ornaments for 2019 National Christmas Tree display in President’s Park:


Hamilton High School


Valley Pathways High School

American Samoa

Leone High School


Grand Canyon Unified School District


Monticello High School


West Valley High School


Grand Mountain School


House of Arts, Letters and Science (HALS) Academy


Cab Calloway School of the Arts

District of Columbia

Ballou High School


Suwannee High School


Valley Point Middle School


Simon Sanchez High School


Maui High School


Timberline High School


Harlem Middle School


Paoli High School


Clear Creek Amana Middle School


Cheney High School


Adair County High School


Dutchtown High School


Presque Isle High School


North Hagerstown High School


St. James - St. John School


NorthPointe Christian High School


Riverside Christian School


Florence High School


Carthage High School


Hellgate High School


Lutheran High Northeast


Marvin M. Sedway Middle School

New Hampshire

Belmont Middle School

New Jersey

Morris County School of Technology

New Mexico

Los Alamos Middle School

New York

Averill Park High School

North Carolina

Bethel School

North Dakota

Simle Middle School

Northern Mariana Islands

Saipan Southern High School


Firelands High School


Coweta High School


Howard Street Charter School


Danville Area Middle School

Puerto Rico

Ernesto Ramos Antonini Fine Arts School

Rhode Island

Exeter-West Greenwich High School

South Carolina

Johnston-Edgefield-Trenton Middle School

South Dakota

Sisseton Middle School




Lyford Middle School


Whitehorse High School


The School of Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales

US Virgin Islands

Arthur Richards K-8 School


Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology


Cavelero Mid High School

West Virginia

Robert L. Bland Middle School



Red Creek Elementary School 

Wyoming Indian Middle School


The National Christmas Tree Lighting has strong ties to education. In 1923, a letter arrived at the White House from the District of Columbia Public Schools proposing that a decorated Christmas tree be placed on the South Lawn of the White House. 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 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 419 national parks! The National Park Service recently planted a new Colorado blue spruce to serve as the National Christmas Tree.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will kick off the holiday season with live musical performances, special guests and the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The festivities continue with a daily lighting of the National Christmas Tree, free evening musical performances and a chance to see the 56 state, district and territory trees and their ornaments up close from Dec. 9, 2019 through Jan. 1, 2020.

For more event information and updates, please visit or follow President’s Park on Facebook or Twitter. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #NCTL2019.

Last updated: October 28, 2019

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