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Obama Lights The National Christmas Tree

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Thousands gathered near the White House to watch the 88th National Christmas Tree Lighting.
Patrick Madden
Thousands gathered near the White House to watch the 88th National Christmas Tree Lighting.

President Obama lit the National Christmas Tree just after 5 p.m. Thursday night. Later in the program, Michelle Obama read a children's holiday story to the crowd.

The event marks the 88th tree-lighting ceremony. The last 23 have been on the Ellipse, just south of the White House.

Thousands of people attended the ceremony, and there are street closures and parking restrictions.

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