WASHINGTON - The annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony is slated for tonight for the Ellipse, and D.C. residents can expect the traditional traffic snarls alongside a special event that is nearly 100 years old.
The First Family – President Donald Trump, and his wife, First Lady Melanie Trump – will light the tree.
They’ll be joined by a number of artists performing holiday tunes, including Jessie James Decker, Chevel Shepherd, and Colton Dixon. Click here to learn about those artists and to find out who else will be performing.
The event will begin at 4:30 p.m., but the traffic impact will arrive much earlier.
A number of street closures will be in effect during the event, including:
- 17th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Independence Avenue, SW
- C Street between 17th Street and 18th Street, NW
- D Street between 17th Street and 18th Street, NW
- E Street between 17th Street and 18th Street, NW
- F Street between 17th Street and 18th Street, NW
- G Street between 17th Street and 18th Street, NW
- New York Avenue between 17th Street and 18th Streets, NW
- Constitution Avenue between 18th Street and 14th Street, NW
- 15th Street between H Street and Madison Drive, NW (Traffic will be allowed to flow south on 15th Street from Madison Drive)
- Pennsylvania Avenue between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
- E Street between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
- F Street between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
- G Street between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
- New York Avenue between 14th Street and 15th Street, NW
In addition, parking restrictions will be in effect during the event.
Parking will be restricted on the curb lanes of Constitution Avenue, between 14th and 18th streets, NW, both sides of 15th Street, from H Street NW to Madison Drive NW, and both sides of 17th Street, from Pennsylvania Avenue to Independence Avenue, SW.
In addition, parking is restricted on both curb lanes of C, D, E, F,G, New York and Pennsylvania between 14th & 18 streets between Constitution Avenue and North to Pennsylvania Avenue on the NW and H St on the Northeast of the Ellipse.
If you’re attending the event, be prepared to be searched. Items prohibited at the event include:
- Animals other than service/guide animals
- Backpacks and bags exceeding size restrictions (18" by 13" by 7")
- Bicycles / Recreational Scooters
- Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
- Electric stun guns
- Firearms / ammunition
- Folding or camp chairs
- Glass, thermal, or metal containers
- Laser pointers
- Lighters and matches
- Mace / Pepper spray
- Selfie Sticks
- Supports for signs, placards, banners, and flags
- Toy weapons of any kind
- Weapons of any kind
- Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards
Strollers and wheelchairs are allowed, but guests should be prepared for a search of all items carried onto the site.