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Date Set for Virtual National Christmas Tree Lighting

The tree lighting ceremony will be streamed online due to the pandemic

Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The 98th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Park Service announced Monday.

The lighting and holiday performances will take place on Dec. 3 and, rather than the typical live audience, anyone can watch a livestream of the event online, NPS said in a news release.

"Due to COVID-19-related public health concerns, the National Park Service (NPS) and National Park Foundation (NPF) will not host a live audience at the 2020 National Christmas Tree Lighting," NPS said.

The park service hasn't yet announced who will perform for this year's ceremony.

Despite the virtual ceremony, people can visit President's Park to view the National Christmas Tree through the month of December. Fifty-six trees representing every U.S. state, territory and D.C., decorated with ornaments designed by students from across the country, will also be on display. 

Last year, the NPS planted a new National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in President’s Park – a 30-foot Colorado blue spruce from Palmyra, Pennsylvania.

The NPS said it looks forward to celebrating the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in person next holiday season. 

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