National Christmas Tree

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Jessie James Decker sings onstage flanked by a huge Christmas tree lit with white lights with the White House illuminated in the background.
National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, 2019.

NPS / Liz Macro

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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Patti LaBelle sings, backed by the Howard Gospel Choir in front of a huge lit Christmas tree.
Patti LaBelle performs with the Howard Gospel Choir at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, 2021

NPS / Nathan King

Watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting

Five dates to know

  • October 25: Free ticket lottery opens at 10 a.m. ET.
  • November 1: Free ticket lottery closes at 10 a.m. ET.
  • November 30: National Christmas Tree will be lit for the 100th time!
  • December 2: The National Christmas Tree area opens to the public.
  • December 11: CBS Network will air the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET.

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.

 
Several young women view a small Christmas tree bedecked in spherical ornaments.
Pathway of Peace, 2019

NPS / Liz Macro

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.

 
 
Audience watches musical performers at the National Christmas Tree
Performers during the 2015 season.

NPS / A. Garrison

National Christmas Tree Music Program

The 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

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1849 C Street NW
Room 1426

Washington , DC 20240

Phone:

202 208-1631

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