President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama lit the National Christmas Tree on Thursday evening during a ceremony where he shared a holiday message with the American people.

The lighting ceremony tradition began in 1923 and takes place in President's Park, just south of the White House fence.

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The host for this year's ceremony is actress Eva Longoria.

Performers include Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson, Marc Anthony, Yolanda Adams, The Lumineers and James Taylor.

This year's ceremony helps round out the National Park Service's centennial year.