Tickets to the lighting of the National Christmas Tree are highly coveted by both tourists and area residents.
The lottery is now open for free tickets to attend this year's National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington.
The National Park Service opened the online lottery this morning at 10 a.m. People interested in seeing the tree light up can register online or by phone through Monday morning at 10. The Park Service says there are 17,000 tickets available — 3,000 for seats and 14,000 standing-room only tickets.
This year's lighting is scheduled for December 6. The president traditionally lights the tree along with his family. The tradition began in 1923 with President Calvin Coolidge and will celebrate its 90th year this December. As usual the ceremony will feature live performances of Christmas music among other things.
For those not able to attend, it will be broadcast on many public television stations in the days after December 6 in the run up to the holidays, and will be broadcast live online.
To enter the lottery for tickets, call 877-444-6777 or visit TheNationalTree.org.