NOTE: The story below is from 2011. CLICK HERE for traffic advisories for 2012's lighting event.
See more on the 2012 event, including a list of musical guests, here.
One of Washington's great holiday traditions takes center stage this evening. Thousands of people will brave the cold and watch as President Obama lights the National Christmas Tree.
Several streets will be closed in downtown Washington amid the evening rush hour for the ceremony.
President Barack Obama and his family will officially light the tree in a ceremony starting at 5 p.m. Thursday. Carson Daly, Will.i.am, Kermit the Frog and of course Santa are also scheduled to appear.
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.