- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2020

The annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree near the White House is another tradition to be changed drastically due to the COVID-19 restrictions this year.

The tree-lighting program at the Ellipse in Washington can be viewed only online, beginning Thursday.

Due to public health concerns, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation didn’t host a live audience this year for the popular event. Tickets are normally in high demand for the program, which also causes major traffic gridlock in the nation’s capital at evening rush hour.

The actual tree-lighting ceremony took place on Monday, instead of the traditional Thursday after Thanksgiving, and was recorded. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended the event.

The program can be seen beginning at some point on Thursday at https://thenationaltree.org/. It features more than a dozen performers, including Jerrod Niemann, Jillian Cardarelli, Leaving Austin and the Tuscon Arizona Boys Chorus. And of course, the “President’s Own” Marine Band.

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