This year, the National Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on December 5, 2019.

The ticket lottery is now open for the 2019 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the White House. Winners will join the president, first lady, and members of the first family on Thursday, December 5, to light the giant tree and kick off the holiday season. Entry into the lottery is free, and winners will be notified on November 4, 2019.  

The annual event, now in its 97th year, also features a variety of musical performances. The tree is part of a larger display called the Pathway to Peace in the Ellipse at President’s Park. The display features 56 trees—one for each state and the territories—and is open to the public through January 1, 2020. Each state tree also displays a custom-designed ornament made each year by residents and artisans. Free music and dance performances take place in December courtesy of local school children and community groups. The National Christmas Tree display is open seven days a week, and lights go on nightly starting at 4:30 p.m.

To enter the ticket lottery, you must create an account ahead of time at the National Park Service site, The lottery page opens at 10 a.m. on October 15 and closes at 10 a.m. on October 21, 2019. Winners will be notified on November 4. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can enter the lottery by calling (877) 444-6777.

Visit the National Christmas Tree Lighting site to see pictures and videos of past years' ceremonies, learn about the origins of the event, and get updates about this year’s event. You can also see the images and learn the stories about the state’s ornaments from 2018. For those don’t want to brave the cold weather, the event will be also live-streamed.

Have you won tickets to the Tree Lighting before? Are you entering the lottery this year? Tell us in the comments!