The Washington Post

The National Christmas Tree ticket lottery opens Oct. 31

The holidays are ahead, folks. Before your pumpkin gets the chance to rot on your stoop, your neighbor will be hanging a wreath.

The 89th National Christmas Tree Lighting. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post). The 89th National Christmas Tree Lighting. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post).

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is 42 days away, slated for Friday, Dec. 6. But mark your calenders for the ticket lottery now: The application window for the annual event opens at 10 a.m. Oct. 31 and closes Nov. 4.

In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree, set to the tunes of a local choir and members of the U.S. Marine Band. The ceremony has taken place every year since, but the entertainment has expanded. The 2012 ceremony featured Neil Patrick Harris, the Fray, Jason Mraz, James Taylor and more. PBS broadcasts the ceremony live.

To get a good view of the tree, the president and the entertainment, get there early. All ticket holders must go through security, and the lines are long. Visit here for more information and for the ticket lottery. Good luck and, for the first of umpteen times, happy holidays!

Margaret Ely is a digital editor for Lifestyle. Previously, she was an intern for the Post’s Metro section.
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