Holiday Season Kicks Off With National Christmas Tree Lighting

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U.S. President Barack Obama (C) waves from the stage during the 91st national Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse south of the White House December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. The lighting of the tree is an annual tradition attended by the president and the first family. President Calvin Coolidge lit the first national Christmas tree, a 48-foot Balsam fir, in 1923. (credit: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) waves from the stage during the 91st national Christmas tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse south of the White House December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. The lighting of the tree is an annual tradition attended by the president and the first family. President Calvin Coolidge lit the first national Christmas tree, a 48-foot Balsam fir, in 1923. (credit: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

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.

WNEW’s Kevin Rincon contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

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