WASHINGTON -- The most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching and there is no better way to get in the holiday spirit than viewing the official lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

This time-honored American tradition will feature live musical performances along with the main tree lighting on the Ellipse at President’s Park (White House).

Free tickets for the November 28 ceremony will be awarded through an online lottery. The lottery opens at 10 a.m. October 18 and closes at 10 a.m. October 22.

To enter the lottery visit www.recreation.gov and click on the ‘TICKET LOTTERY’ link. Those who do not have computer access may call 877-444-6777 to enter the lottery. The winners of the free tickets will all be notified October 29.

This year will be the 96th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting. President Calvin Coolidge first celebrated the ceremony back in 1923.

The National Christmas Tree can be seen year-round in President’s Park. There will be fifty-six smaller trees surrounding the National Christmas Tree decorated with one-of-a-kind ornaments representing every U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia.