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USA Radio
December 15, 2013

The National Christmas Tree Lights Up the USA Holiday Season

By Talia Salem

The holiday season is a magical time in the USA, where cities all over the country are adorned with festive lights, sparkling decorations and wintry scenes to celebrate the season. The nation’s capital Washington, DC showcases our national spirit with a very special annual tradition, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Taking place every year since 1923, the National Tree Lighting Ceremony is traditional part of holiday celebrations, and the tree remains up throughout the holiday season to bring joy to all who see it. The national tree, as well as trees for every state and territory, in addition to a menorah and other holiday decorations decorate Presidents Park in front of the White House for all to see.

This year we had the distinct pleasure of attending The National Park Service’s 91st annual National Tree Lighting Ceremony. Hosted by American actor and comedian Jane Lynch, the star-studded show featured President Barack Obama, award-winning singers Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin and more. Here are a few of the memorable highlights.

Jane Lynch kicks off the show with a few jokes to get the crowd warmed up.

The first family gets ready to light the tree.

Legendary singer and “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin wows the audience with “Joy to the World.”

New hit musical trio Forte performs at the National Christmas Tree Lighting.*

First Lady Michelle Obama reads the holiday classic "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" with Sesame Street's Abby Cadabby.*

Best-selling female artist of all time Mariah Carey closes out the ceremony with a bang with her famous holiday hit “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

The show was filled with so many sounds and sights of the season. See the rest of the images from the ceremony here or watch the show live:  Next season, book a trip to the USA to experience our special holiday spirit live.

–Talia Salem

Photos by Tami A. Heilemann unless otherwise noted.
*Photo credit: Paul Morigi, 2013 National Christmas Tree Lighting


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