Watch It Live: Obama Family to Light National Christmas Tree

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Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Photo credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and his family will flip the switch for the 90th annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

This year’s host is “How I Met Your Mother” actor Neil Patrick Harris.

Scheduled performers include singers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Ledisi, Jason Mraz and James Taylor and the band The Fray. ABC’s “Modern Family” actor Rico Rodriguez will also appear for the ceremony that begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Watch The Ceremony Live Here.

President Calvin Coolidge started the tradition by lighting a live, 48-foot fir decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in 1923.

This year’s giant blue spruce is new, transplanted in October on the Ellipse, south of the White House.

The previous tree died after just a year from transplant shock. Before that, a tree that stood for more than 30 years was destroyed by winds in February 2011.

You can watch the lighting of the National Christmas Tree LIVE here.

Street Closures

No traffic will be allowed northbound or southbound on the following streets:

  • 15th Street, NW, between E Street/ Pennsylvania Avenue and Constitution Avenue, NW
  • 17th Street, NW, between Constitution Avenue and New York Avenue, NW

The roads will immediately be re-opened following the conclusion of the ceremony.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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