Holiday Season Kicks Off With National Christmas Tree Lighting
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — A lineup packed with stars helped the National Christmas Tree shine during the annual lighting ceremony held Friday night — despite the rain.
President Barack Obama and his family attended the tree lighting, which started at 4:30 p.m. on the Ellipse near the White House.
Singers Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, The Avett Brothers and Joshua Bell are among the artists who performed at the lighting ceremony this year. Jazz trumpeter and pianist Arturo Sandoval, the band Train, singer Janelle Monae and Latin musician Prince Royce also performed.
This is the 91st year for the annual Christmas tree lighting. It’s a tradition that dates back to President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.
A lottery was held for tickets to the event. Officials have given out tickets for 3,000 seats and 14,000 standing-room spaces.