White House

National Christmas Tree Lighting: What You Need To Know

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump flipped the switch to light the National Christmas Tree Wednesday evening. 

The 96th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting took place on the Ellipse at the White House. Tickets were available through a lottery. 

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s musical guests, road closures and more. 


Antonio Sabàto Jr. will host the event, with performances by Abby Anderson, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Anthony Kearns, Gabby Barrett and the United States Army Band "Pershing’s Own."

Last year, The Beach Boys, Wynonna and The Texas Tenors were among the list of performers. 

Road Closures


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Many roads will close before the event’s start time and continue throughout the night. Click here for a complete list of affected roads.

Getting There

The National Park Service recommends guests with tickets use public transit to get to President’s Park. The Farragut North and Farragut West Metro stations are closest to the event.

The entrance for ticketed guests will be located along 17th Street across from E Street NW, NPS says. 

Forbidden Items

Pack light! While strollers, wheelchairs, rain jackets and ponchos are permitted, many items are not. Below are the things you cannot bring to the tree lighting.

  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition
  • Backpacks and bags exceeding the size restrictions (18" by 13" by 7")
  • Coolers
  • Firearms
  • Glass, thermal, or metal containers
  • Laser pointers
  • Packages
  • Selfie Sticks
  • Signs exceeding the size restrictions (20" x 3" x 1/4")
  • Supports for signs and placards
  • Toy guns
  • Weapons of any kind

If you weren't lucky enough to get a ticket, the ceremony will be aired on Ovation and REELZ on Dec. 2 at 10 p.m.

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