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Eva Longoria will host the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and Marc Anthony, Afro Blue, and the Airmen of Note will join Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, Yolanda Adams, James Taylor, The Lumineers, Garth Brooks, and Trisha Yearwood in performing a collection of holiday favorites.

As reported by the Santa Monica Observer, the lighting takes place on Thursday (Dec. 1) on the Ellipse at President’s Park (White House). The special event wraps the National Park Service Centennial year and celebrates the launch of a second century of discovery and stewardship.

The National Tree Lighting tradition began in November, 1923, when First Lady Grace Coolidge gave permission for the District of Columbia Public Schools to erect a Christmas tree on the Ellipse south of the White House.

The organizers named the tree the “National Christmas Tree.” That Christmas Eve, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white and green, as a local choir and a “quartet” from the U.S. Marine Band performed. 93 years later, this American holiday tradition continues to bring citizens together to share in a message of hope and peace.

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