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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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national tree lighting - darren criss

National Park Service hosts the 101st national Christmas tree lighting

Ceremony featured address from President Biden and holiday performances

The National Park Service and National Park Foundation hosted their annual national Christmas tree lighting ceremony Nov. 30 on the Ellipse next to the White House. 

The event featured performances of Christmas classics from artists such as Joe Walsh, Darren Criss, Dionne Warwick and the U.S. Army Field Band. Attendees also heard speeches from President Joe Biden and witnessed a special appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

national tree lighting - santa and mrs. claus


First Lady Jill Biden announced the 2023 White House holiday theme as the “Magic, Wonder, and Joy” of the holiday season. 

The theme is inspired by how children experience the holiday season, “completely present in the beauty and bounty around them, their senses alight, with hearts open to the magic, wonder, and joy of the holidays,” the President and First Lady wrote in the 2023 White House Holiday Guide welcome letter. 

“Three words to capture the essence of Christmas and the holidays,” President Biden said in his ceremonial address at the tree lighting. “We’re a great nation because we’re good people. That’s what I see all across America, including tonight.” 

Biden also discussed the holiday season in relation to the “essence of who we are as Americans.” 

national tree lighting - biden and first lady


“We look to one another and we look out for one another. We leave no one behind,” Biden said. “Let’s remember how blessed we are as Americans for the gift of our nation.” 

The national Christmas tree lighting ceremony will broadcast on CBS Dec. 15 and the tree will be on display to the general public until Jan 4, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with extended hours until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

During his speech, National Park Foundation President and CEO Will Shafroth discussed the “shared responsibility for every American” to protect national parks and historic sites. 

“We want to find places of peace and solace. We want you to remember what we share as Americans. We want you to take a break from our devices,” Shafroth said. “There’s no better way to refresh and reconnect with each other by visiting our national parks.” 

This article was edited by Abigail Hatting, Jordan Young and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis and Luna Jinks.

localnews@theeagleonline.com 


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