National Christmas Tree
The tradition of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse began with President Calvin Coolidge over 90 years ago. A 48 foot Balsam Fir from Vermont decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white, and green served as the first National Christmas Tree which was lit by President Coolidge on Christmas Eve 1923. Today the tradition continues and is one of the most beloved holiday events in Washington DC.
National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
The date for the 2016 ceremony has not yet been announced.
Get Tickets to Attend
Tickets are required to attend this event and are awarded through an online lottery. The 2016 lottery is closed. Lottery winners will be notified on October 27.
Watch the Show
Hundreds of volunteers give their time each year to support this event. Find out how you can get involved!
Pathway of Peace
How to Visit
What to Expect
The National Christmas Tree lights turn on at approximately 4:30 pm and turn off promptly at 10:00 pm.
National Christmas Tree Music Program
Application to Perform
Attend a Performance
Since 1923, the National Christmas Tree has been a traditional celebration of the holiday season.History of the National Christmas Tree