VISIT The Tree
The National Christmas Tree site is free to visit and will be open to the public starting December 2, 2023.
Learn more at nps.gov
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.
20222022 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.
2020Due 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.
2015Helping 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.
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.