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The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2010

Airs Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Christmas tree at the White House

Credit: Paul Morigi/National Park Foundation

Above: Christmas tree at the White House

Interactive Timeline

Explore American history through the story of a favorite holiday tradition - the lighting of the national Christmas tree.

Decorate Your Own Christmas Tree

Create and decorate your own Christmas tree and send it to friends and family.

Celebrating its 87th year, the lighting of the national Christmas tree signals the start of the holiday season across the country. The program, which will tape on December 9, 2010 at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., marks the beginning of the holiday season across the country.

Hosted by the First Family in the President’s Park, the show will feature blues legend B.B. King, Grammy® Award-nominated singer-songwriter/pianist Sara Bareilles, and Grammy® Award-winning band Maroon 5. The festivities and performances will conclude with the illumination of the decorated tree. Additional performers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

The event is sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation.

Beginning Friday, December 10, 2010 watch the full show including every performance, presenter and holiday festivity at

Preview: The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2010

Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, and produced by Alex Coletti Productions, "The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2010" will offer an all-star line-up performing a diverse array of holiday music, including traditional songs with dashes of pop, folk and hip-hop.

Santa's Workshop

Visit the Ellipse in Washington D.C. this holiday season and you might see Santa and his elves busy making toys in their workshop.

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