The 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins today 5 p.m. EST. Carson Daly will host the ceremony, and President Obama will officially light the tree. There will be performances during the event, featuring Kermit the Frog, Will.i.am, Big Time Rush, and more.
There has been a National Christmas Tree every year since 1923. The tree that will be lit today is a new Colorado blue spruce. The last tree was damaged in February 2011 and had to be replaced. There will be nightly performances at the National Christmas Tree from December 6 through December 23.
PBS stations across the country will broadcast the ceremony. You can also watch the ceremony online at www.thenationaltree.org.
Photograph by Jewel Samad, AFP/Getty Images