- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Black Eyed Peas and Kermit the Frog are joining the lineup of performers who will help light the National Christmas Tree near the White House.

Carson Daly will host the lighting ceremony Thursday. Performers will also include Big Time Rush, Ellie Goulding, the band OneRepublic, country star Rodney Atkins and singer Marsha Ambrosius.

President Barack Obama and his family will officially light the tree. This will be the 89th year for the holiday tree lighting. The tradition began with President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.

This is the first lighting of a new National Christmas Tree that was planted in March. It’s a 26-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce from a New Jersey tree nursery. Strong winds in February toppled the last tree that had stood on the Ellipse since 1978.

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