National Christmas Tree

A lit Christmas Tree in front of the White House; a band sits onstage and audience members look on.
National Christmas Tree lighting event, 2023.

NPS / Kelsey Graczyk

Watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony

In person:

Tickets to the National Christmas Tree Lighting event are distributed by lottery via Lottery dates are typically announced in October.

On television/streaming:

The event is typically televised after the live event. More details will be available at a later date.

About the National Christmas Tree

The 2023 tree was a cut, 40-foot-tall Norway spruce from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. This is the first time the NPS and USDA Forest Service have partnered to bring a tree to the Ellipse. The previous tree, planted on October 30, 2021, was removed on Nov. 11 after developing needle cast, a fungal disease that causes needles to turn brown and fall off.

Before 1973, the National Park Service used cut trees as National Christmas trees. The NPS and event partners will evaluate whether to continue using a cut tree or to plant a new tree, after this holiday season.

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.

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

NPS / Liz Macro

Visit the National Christmas Tree and the Pathway of Peace

The National Christmas Tree is located south of the White House on the Ellipse. The Pathway of Peace is a collection of trees with student-designed ornaments representing the United States' 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. There is no fee to visit either attraction.

Several days after the lighting ceremony, the grounds open to the public. The lights are typically on from sunset until 10:00 pm Sunday-Thursday and until 11:00 pm Friday-Saturday. The event typically concludes January 1.

2024 dates have not been announced.


Last updated: July 1, 2024

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