VISIT The Tree

The National Christmas Tree site is free to visit and will be open to the public starting December 2, 2023.
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Over 100 Years:
An American Tradition

In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white and green, as a local choir and a “quartet” from the U.S. Marine Band performed. Decades later, this American holiday tradition continues to bring citizens together to share in a message of hope and peace.

  • 2022

    2022 marked the 100th lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The tree's lighting and decoration design incorporated elements from tree designs of years past, including historical star tree toppers and star ornaments that embellished the base of the tree.
  • 2020

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic public health concerns, the 2020 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony did not host a live audience. Instead, a festival compilation of Christmas lights and music, national parks, and holiday cheer brought joy into homes across the country in a virtual celebration. The patriotic lighting design for the 2020 tree included red, white, and blue opaque lights in a larger traditional style LED light bulb.
  • 2015

    Helping kick off the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, the theme of the 2015 National Christmas Tree paid ode to this momentous occasion, trimmed with sparkling gold ribbon and silvery white stars and lights, colors and trappings that are traditionally used for milestone celebrations. The Lighting Ceremony itself interwove the Centennial theme. Everyone that took to the stage that evening – from President Obama to musical talent – had the opportunity to shine a spotlight on their personal connection to national parks.
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Ornaments Across the USA

Each year artists give their time and talents to design and create ornaments that symbolize the history, heritage, and culture of their homelands. Explore ornaments created for the 2023 America Celebrates display.

Illustration depicting the South Carolina flag with a tree and crescent moon in front of a beach.
Illustration of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset
Illustration of a manicured lawn stretching up towards a gray building
Illustration of a sea turtle wearing a Santa hat.

Plan Your Visit

Need help planning your visit to President’s Park? Check out the park’s website for operating hoursthings to do, and contact information.