Holiday Season Officially Arrives With Lighting Of National Christmas Tree

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The National Christmas Tree was lit Thursday night in front of a national television audience and a crowd of thousands gathered in front of the White House at The Ellipse.

The First Family arrived on stage about 45 minutes late – bundled in their finest winter garb -but the switch was finally flipped following a brief public address by President Barack Obama.

The giant blue spruce illuminated the night sky officially signalling the commencement of the holiday season in the nation’s capital.

Around 20,000 visitors nestled in front of the stage to witness the cherished lighting ceremony and the nationally televised lead-up. Those proceedings are still carrying on.

You can watch it LIVE here.

The 90th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was hosted by CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris, to the tune of musical acts that included Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, James Taylor and The Fray.

The tree itself is brightly lit with white, green and red lights, as well as a few extra stars this year for added effect.

Follow George Mesthos on Twitter for the latest from The Ellipse.

The National Christmas Tree fully lit. (Credit: George Mesthos/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

The National Christmas Tree fully lit. (Credit: George Mesthos/All-News 99.1 WNEW)

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