“Ninety years of tradition says that the [National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony] has to occur as the evening rush hour goes into full swing.”
Tonight’s ceremony on the Ellipse makes this one of the worst nights of the year to be a commuter. Roads will be closed. 34 Metrobus routes will be delayed or detoured. Your patience will be tested as holiday cheer places a stranglehold on the city’s downtown core.
The ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. and will finish by around 7 p.m. If you’re usually on the roads at that hour near the White House, your best bet is to wait it out, if possible. Half-price oysters (until 6 p.m.) at Old Ebbitt Grill or DJs in the Garden at the National Gallery’s Sculpture Garden sound way better than sitting in traffic.