National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony to proceed as planned after tree was toppled by gusty winds

The National Christmas Tree will still be lit Thursday to celebrate the 101st anniversary of the holiday tradition after winds toppled the tree on Tuesday

WASHINGTON – After gusty winds Tuesday knocked down the National Christmas Tree at the White House in Washington, the annual tree lighting ceremony will proceed as planned on Nov. 30.

A representative of the National Park Service, which manages President's Park where the tree is located, confirmed to FOX Weather on Wednesday about the scheduled tree lighting ceremony. 

He added that the winners of the ticket lottery, which attendees needed to enter to receive free tickets to the tree lighting ceremony, have been notified about the event logistics. 


According to observations from the National Weather Service, winds at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday were sustained at nearly 20 mph since about 8 a.m. EST. A gust of 40 mph was recorded just before 2 p.m. EST.

The 40-foot Norway spruce from Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia is actually the second National Christmas Tree to be erected in President's Park this year. The first one was replaced after it was affected by needle cast – a fungal disease that causes needles on spruce, pine and other conifer trees to turn brown and fall off.

According to the NPS, the tree is scheduled to be lit Thursday to mark the 101st anniversary of the holiday tradition.

"As the saying goes, ‘the show must go on’ and the NPS and our event partners are looking at all possibilities to ensure a successful event this year," NPS officials said in a statement released Tuesday evening.


The NPS noted that those who did not receive a ticket to attend the tree lighting ceremony can visit the lit National Christmas Tree starting on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, through Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.