WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and the first family helped kick off the holiday season in the nation's capital Thursday evening by lighting the National Christmas Tree on the White House Ellipse.
The tree lighting is in its 95th year, making it one of America's oldest holiday traditions. President Calvin Coolidge lit the first tree on Christmas Eve in 1923 in front of 3,000 spectators on the Ellipse. Every president since then has carried on the tradition.
This year's event was hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Dean Cain, with performances by Boys II Bow Ties, Craig Campbell, Jack Wagner, Mannheim Steamroller, The Beach Boys, The Texas Tenors, Us The Duo, Wynonna and the U.S. Navy Band, led by Emmy-nominated music director Steve Gibson. The event is put on by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, and it will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel on Monday, December 4 at 7 pm ET.
Visit the National Christmas Tree's official website for more details.