The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation have announced that President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their family will officially light the National Christmas Tree on Thursday, December 1 at the 89th annual holiday tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse in President’s Park, one of America’s nearly 400 national parks.

The ceremony will be streamed LIVE online at beginning at 4:30pm ET with the exclusive National Christmas Tree Lighting pre-show.

Hosted by television and radio personality Carson Daly, this year’s National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony features a talented lineup of performers. Multi-platinum producer of six-time Grammy-award winning musical group The Black Eyed Peas, pop sensation Big Time Rush and singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding will join the previously announced platinum selling band OneRepublic, country music star Rodney Atkins and six-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius for this extraordinary evening of holiday fanfare. The show will also feature a special appearance by Kermit the Frog, star of The Muppets, and of course, the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus.

Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. They work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.

In addition to the LIVE stream online, the ceremony will also be broadcast nationally on public television throughout the month of December through a partnership with WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital. Check local listings for times or visit for more information.

Originally started by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, this year’s ceremony marks the 89th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. The event has become an American holiday tradition. For more information about the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting, visit

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