Obama family to light National Christmas Tree

  • Singers Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat rehearse Dec. 6, 2012, for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Singers Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat rehearse Dec. 6, 2012, for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • A member of the stage crew sets microphones in place on Dec. 6, 2012, during setup and rehearsal for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)A member of the stage crew sets microphones in place on Dec. 6, 2012, during setup and rehearsal for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Members of the stage crew set up microphones, guitars and other gear on Dec. 6, 2012, for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Members of the stage crew set up microphones, guitars and other gear on Dec. 6, 2012, for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Members of the Washington Performing Arts Society gospel choir wait to take the stage Dec. 6, 2012, to rehearse for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Members of the Washington Performing Arts Society gospel choir wait to take the stage Dec. 6, 2012, to rehearse for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • Members of the Washington Performing Arts Society gospel choir wait to take the stage Dec. 6, 2012, to rehearse for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)Members of the Washington Performing Arts Society gospel choir wait to take the stage Dec. 6, 2012, to rehearse for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)
  • A television cameraman is silhouetted in between the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial on Dec. 6, 2012, as he films the rehearsal for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)A television cameraman is silhouetted in between the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial on Dec. 6, 2012, as he films the rehearsal for the lighting of the National Christmas tree on the Ellipse in downtown D.C. later that evening. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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.

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.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks