President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will participate in the 96th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at President’s Park in Washington, DC, at 5 p.m. Eastern (2 p.m. Pacific) Wednesday.
A video will appear above once the Trumps take the stage.
Secretary of the Department of the Interior Ryan Zinke is also scheduled to speak at the event.
The tree will feature ornaments from across America.
— SD Dept of Education (@sddoe) November 26, 2018
— Sara Gregory (@saragregory) November 26, 2018
Wednesday night I will get a chance to see this hanging on the Ohio tree by @TheNationalTree at the @WhiteHouse. So excited! Thank you @NatlParkService and @OHEducation for selecting MJHS! #NCTL2018 pic.twitter.com/QoW6CJRwfx
— EaglesFineArts (@ArtsEagles) November 27, 2018
The ceremony is organized by the National Park Foundation and National Park Service. The event’s official website describes the history of the ceremony as originating with President Calvin Coolidge in 1923: “The history of the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree is intertwined with the history of America. Through peace and war, from national celebration to national mourning, Americans have gathered together and celebrated the season in this holiday event.”
During last year’s ceremony, Trump noted how the birth of Jesus Christ “forever changed the course of human history,” adding, “There is hardly an aspect of our lives today that his life has not touched: art, music, culture, law, and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person everywhere in the world.”
Trump also said, “Americans have known Christmas as a time for prayer and worship, for gratitude and goodwill, for peace and renewal.”
The event’s official nonprofit partner, Ovation and REELZ, will broadcast the entire ceremony on Sunday, December 2, at 10 p.m. Eastern. Invited performers include actor Antonio Sabàto Jr, singers Anthony Kearns, Abby Anderson, Gabby Barrett, musician Matthew West, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, and the U.S. Army Band.
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