NOTE: This event is taking place without the audience this year. Check back for the 2021 event updates.
Since the 1920s the National Christmas Tree Lighting has become one of the major holiday season attractions in Washington. The living tree is decorated in the northeast quadrant of The Ellipse near the White House. Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt has flipped the switch and given a speech at the ceremony. The lighting scheme of the tree is especially beautiful. CNN in 2013 called the National Christmas Tree the sixth most beautiful Christmas tree in the world. The ceremony features many popular performers as well as young talents.
Every year ordinary people all over America make unique ornaments and decorations for the National Christmas Tree. These one-of-a-kind ornaments represent every U.S. territory, state, and the District of Columbia. Many artists show off their creativity and talents to design decorations that illustrate the history, culture, and heritage of the United States. These works of art makeup America Celebrates display, surrounding the National Christmas Tree. In 2019 students of 56 schools across the U.S. created ornaments for the display on the Ellipse in President’s Park. It is free and available to visitors throughout the whole December.
The next video is almost one hour long, so you can get a better idea of the whole event watching it.