Free Ticket Lottery For National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Now Open

2012 National Christmas Tree. Photo by Tim Evason via Creative Commons and flickr.

The lighting ceremony for the 2013 National Christmas Tree will be held in Washington, D.C. on Friday, December 6, and free tickets for the event will be awarded via an online lottery. That process opened at 10:00 a.m. today, and will close at 10:00 a.m (EST) on Monday, November 4.

A total of 3,000 ticket for seated spaces and 14,000 standing-room tickets are available through the lottery, and winners will be notified by e-mail on Thursday, November 7.

Anyone seeking a free ticket can enter the drawing by going to www.thenationaltree.org and clicking the ‘TICKET LOTTERY’ link. Those without computer access may call 877-444-6777 (TDD 877-833-6777) to enter the lottery.

The 91st annual tree-lighting ceremony will be held on the Ellipse, not far from the White House in Washington, D. C. The event is presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, with support from the event’s premier sponsor, UL. Other supporters include GE Lighting, Nicolas Holiday, Inc., Hilton Garden Inn Washington D.C.-Downtown, Guest Services, Inc., and Hudler Carolina Tree Farms.

An annual National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony dates back to 1923, when 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. An event spokesperson notes, "Ninety years later, this American holiday tradition continues to bring citizens together to share in a message of hope and peace."