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National Christmas Tree Lighting Set For December 1, Ticket Lottery Opens November 3rd


The National Christmas Tree will be lighted on December 1 on the Ellipse in President’s Park in Washington, D.C.

On December 1 at 5 p.m. the National Christmas Tree will be lighted for the holiday season, an event that draws thousands to Washington, D.C., one that requires a lottery system to dole out 17,000 free tickets.

The online lottery goes live at 10 a.m. (EST) on Thursday, November 3rd, and will remain open through 9:59 a.m. EST on Monday, November 7th. You can find the online by going to the national tree website  and following the link to the online ticket lottery application page.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony marks the opening of the four-week event sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official fundraising partner of America’s national parks. 

The lottery will offer 3,000 ticketed seats and 14,000 standing room tickets. The website will contain all necessary information to apply for 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony tickets. Additionally, any ticket seeker without access to a computer may also call (877-444-6777 or for TDD 877-833-6777) beginning Thursday, November 3rd, through Monday, November 7th, to place their name into the lottery. 

Once the lottery is completed, successful ticket lottery seekers will receive a notice sent via U.S. Mail.   Beginning Thursday, November 10th, all ticket seekers may check the status of their request online or through the call center after the conclusion of the lottery.   The tickets are free and may not be sold.   

Tickets will be mailed by Monday, November 14, to ticket winners through the U.S. Postal Service.  The package that ticket lottery winners will receive provides their tickets and other important event information including directions, map, event schedule, restricted items, and other planning information.  Please be advised tickets are required for every attendee, including all children.

Those who land tickets in the standing room only section will have a clear view of the National Christmas Tree, and a large screen showing the stage production, but will have a limited view of the event stage.  They will not be allowed to bring chairs into that area.

The gates for the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will open for all ticket holders at 3 p.m. and all ticket holders must be in their seats or in the standing room area by 4:30 p.m. 

This year’s talent line up for the lighting ceremony will be announced in November.  Talent announcements, as well as other event details and a live webstream of the ceremony will be available at this website.

Guests are reminded that aerosols of any kind, fireworks/firecrackers, animals (except guide dogs), duffel bags/suitcases/backpacks/coolers, real or simulated ammunition, knives of any kind, mace/pepper spray, laser lights/pointers, chairs, and glass containers are prohibited.  This list may not be inclusive.  Law enforcement personnel reserve the right to prohibit any other items determined to be a potential public safety hazard.   Strollers, wheelchairs and diaper bags are allowed, but guests should be prepared for a search of all items carried onto the site.     

Parking is not available near the White House.  The National Park Service strongly encourages the use of public transportation.  The closest Metro stops are Metro Center, Federal Triangle, Farragut North, Farragut West and McPherson Square. 

For questions about the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, please call the White House Visitor Center at (202) 208-1631, or visit the National Park Service website .

The National Christmas Tree Lighting will also be made available to television viewers on PBS stations across the country. Check local listings for broadcast times.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is presented by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service with support from premier sponsor, Underwriters Laboratories.  Other supporters include G.E. Consumer & Industrial.


What National Christmas Tree?  Last I heard it had blown over in storm back in the spring/summer this year.  If it was replaced, I never heard about it.  But I hope it was replaced because we want to come down the week between Christmas and New Year's to see DC all lit up.  We did it last year and it was great (and also deserted!).

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