The National Park Service and National Park Foundation are celebrating the 100th National Christmas Tree Lighting this year! The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on November 30th in President’s Park in Washington, D.C. Members of the public are invited to enter a free ticket lottery starting October 25 for an opportunity to attend this year’s event. From December 2 through January 1, everyone is invited to visit the National Christmas Tree and enjoy this annual holiday tradition in our nation’s capital.
The beloved tradition of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony began Christmas Eve in 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48-foot Balsam Fir from Vermont decorated with 2,500 red, white, and green electric bulbs. Learn more about the history of the National Christmas Tree.
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Watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting
Five dates to know
Free ticket lottery
Free tickets to the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony are awarded through an online lottery, which opened at 10 a.m. ET on October 25 and closes at 10 a.m. ET on November 1. To enter the lottery, visit www.recreation.gov and click “TICKET LOTTERY.” You may also call 877-444-6777 to enter the lottery. Lottery applicants will be notified about their ticket status on Nov. 8.
Pathway of Peace
How to Visit
Anyone is welcome to visit the National Christmas Tree this season! The Pathway of Peace and the National Christmas Tree are free to visit and open to the public December 2through January 1, 2023. The National Christmas Tree and the 58 smaller trees that surround the tree turn on around sunset each evening and turn off promptly at 10 pm Sunday-Thursday and 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.
What to Expect
The walkway surrounding the National Christmas Tree features 58 trees representing the 56 states and territories, and schools managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense Education Activity. These trees are uniquely decorated with ornaments designed by students from each state, territory, and school system. The National Christmas Tree lights turn on around sunset each evening and turn off promptly at 10: pm Sunday-Thursday and 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.
National Christmas Tree Music ProgramThe National Park Service and National Park Foundation will not host the 2022 National Christmas Tree month-long music program this year. However, the public will still be able to visit the National Christmas Tree and the 58 trees decorate by states, territories and federally managed schools through January 1, 2023
Last updated: November 18, 2022