DOINews: NPS: National Christmas Tree Lights Up President's Park

Last edited 09/05/2019

Screenshot of 2014 National Christmas tree lighting from This Week at Interior:
Above is a screenshot from This Week at Interior featuring the National Christmas tree lighting at President's Park on Dec. 4, 2014.

President Barack Obama, joined by first lady Michelle Obama and his family, officially lit the National Christmas Tree at the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 4.

The ceremony, presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, marked the beginning of a four-week holiday celebration on the Ellipse at President's Park.

The 29-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce, illuminated with 60,000 energy-efficient LED bulbs, will be lit from dusk until 11 p.m. daily through Jan. 1. Seasonal entertainment will be presented nightly on the Ellipse stage from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weeknights from Dec. 10 through Dec. 22.

The lighting event was co-hosted by actor and producer Tom Hanks and his wife, singer-songwriter, actress, and producer Rita Wilson. The event included a diverse lineup of performers, including Wilson, Grammy-winning legend Patti Labelle, multiplatinum-selling artist Steven Miller, singer-songwriter, NE-YO, pop duo Nico & Vinz, vocal group The Tenors, recording artists Fifth Harmony and country star Chely Wright. The U.S. Marine Band (“The President's Own”) provided holiday music and Christmas favorites throughout the hour-long show.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell welcomed guests to President's Park, then introduced President Obama, who offered a Christmas message. First lady Michelle Obama and Little League sensation Mo'ne Davis read “The Night Before Christmas” to a group of children.

The 56 smaller trees representing the U.S. states and territories were lit as well. The shape, size and color patters of the lights on each tree were brought to life with computer programming coded by thousands of girls across the country, courtesy of Google's Made with Code program. Made with Code introduces coding to young women, who are underrepresented in the field of computer science.

The lighting of the National Christmas Tree is an American holiday tradition that began in 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48-foot Balsam fir donated by his home state of Vermont and decorated with 2,500 lights. This year's event will air on public television stations throughout the month of December; for broadcast times, check the National Christmas Tree Lighting website.

Submitted by: Nancy Murray

Dec. 9, 2014

Related Links:

NPS-President's Park
NPS-The Morning Report

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