Anyone who’s anyone: National Christmas Tree lighting

5 Nov

2009 National Christmas Tree lighting

Going to see the National Christmas tree is a popular tradition and a tourist attraction. The tree is planted on the Ellipse, the circular park located between the White House and the Mall. During the “Lighting Ceremony” –which is televised nationally–there’s lots of celebs and music before the president flips the switch. Last year Sheryl Crow, Jordin Sparks and Ray Lamontagne (whoever that is) performed and of course Santa made an appearance. (Performers for this year’s event haven’t been announced yet, but check here for updates.)

The 87th Lighting Ceremony isn’t happening until December 9 at 2 p.m., but the online lottery for tickets just started. The lottery will include 3,000 ticketed seats and 10,000 standing room tickets.  The lottery only stays open until this Sunday, November 7, so don’t delay!

And don’t forget about the National Chanukah Menorah next to the tree. The lighting ceremony is Wednesday, November 4 at 4 p.m. Request free tickets here.

If you aren’t lucky enough to get tickets, it’s definitely still worth going to see the tree and menorah when you’re feeling festive (and when you have the mental stamina to handle the crowds). There’s smaller decorated trees represening each of the states, territories and, of course, DC along with nightly musical performances by volunteer choirs and a large-scale model train.

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