WASHINGTON, Dec. 3, 2015 – All of a sudden it’s December. And today, Thursday, the annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will launch the official 2015 holiday season in the nation’s capital city.
The president, holiday luminaries and military bands highlight each year’s annual celebration on the Ellipse, and this year is no exception. In an announcement on Facebook and other social media, the National Park Service, which is in charge of the details of this event, says,
We are so excited to announce that Reese Witherspoon will be hosting the National Christmas Tree Lighting on December 3 at President’s Park (White House)! Also joining the star-studded lineup is the remarkable Bellamy Young and the United States Coast Guard Band! Just two more days ’til the big event!
Any big event in DC also means there’ll be some road closures and parking restrictions that can have an impact on other Thursday evening events in and around downtown Washington. Regarding these restrictions, the Verizon Center’s Sheila Francis forward the following useful advisory to area media:
The DC Metropolitan Police Department will be enforcing street closures and parking restrictions for the 2015 National Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 3. The ceremony will take place on the Ellipse near the White House. Starting at approximately 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. the following street closures will be in effect:
17th Street NW closed from Independence Avenue to New York Ave NW
15th Street NW closed from Independence Avenue to New York Ave NW
Constitution Avenue from 14th Street to 18th Street NW
Pennsylvania Avenue from 14th Street to 15th Street NW
Madison Drive from 14th Street to 15th Street NW
Jefferson Drive from 14th Street to 15th Street NW
Travel to the Holiday Jam concert at 7 p.m. at Verizon Center may be affected by the street closures and parking restrictions. Fans are encouraged to provide for extra travel time, to take alternate routes or public transportation.
For additional information please visit the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s website at www.mpdc.dc.gov.
While the memo specifically addresses the Verizon Center, other plays and musical events across the city, notably tonight’s 7 p.m. National Symphony Orchestra concert at the Kennedy Center, will be affected. We’d advise individuals attending events in DC Thursday evening to allow a bit of extra travel time just to make sure they arrive at their respective events on schedule.