Obamas to Illuminate White House Tree

Carson Daly, Kermit the Frog attend tree lighting

The Obama family will illuminate the National Christmas Tree tonight, with musical performances hosted by late-night TV's Carson Daly on the White House Ellipse.

Slated to perform: rock band OneRepublic, country artist Rodney Atkins, former Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius... and Kermit the Frog.

Will.i.am is listed on the lineup, but planners announced today he is ill, and won't be attending.

If you didn't score your tix via online lottery last month, you can watch online at NationalTree.org, starting with the pre-show at 4:30 p.m.  Of course, if you're out and about during that time, you might want to review road closures ahead of time.

2011 marks the first year with a new tree in more than three decades. The previous National Christmas Tree was downed by high winds in February.

The new tree, a Colorado blue spruce, was planted in March. Although its 26-foot height makes it shorter than its predecessor, it's expected to grow well above its current height.

The street closings are scheduled to last around the Ellipse from 4:15 p.m. to about 7 p.m.

D.C. transportation officials say no traffic will be allowed northbound or southbound on 15th Street between E Street/Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue. In addition, no traffic will be allowed northbound or southbound on 17th Street between Constitution Avenue and New York Avenue.
Officials say the street closings and related parking restrictions are subject to change without notice.

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