Holiday Happenings in the Nation's Capital

The holiday season is nearly upon us and we wanted to share some of the best events going on in Washington DC to celebrate. Don’t miss out on all the fun!


National Christmas Tree Lighting 2014


When: December 4th, 2014 at 5 pm, rain or shine.  

Where: The Ellipse near the White House and on the National Mall

Tickets: Tickets are free and are distributed randomly by a lottery.

The National Christmas Tree lighting has been a DC tradition since 1923.  In 1978, the current tree was transplanted from Pennsylvania and brought to D.C.  At the time, the tree, a Colorado Blue Spruce, was 30 ft tall and 15 years old.  In 1954, 56 smaller trees were planted representing the 50 States, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia.  The path was these trees created was named the Pathway of Peace.  The tree is lit by the President and First Lady.  Here is a link to the National Tree Lighting Website where you can find more information.  From the 5th to January 1st, when the lights are taken off, there are performers everyday starting at 5 pm and going until about 8 pm.  On the weekends, there are performers for most of the day.  Parking around the mall can be tough so use Parking Panda and reserve parking ahead of time for your trip to the National Christmas tree.  Click here to view our parking options.


National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting     

When: December 16th, 2014 at 4 pm, rain or shine.  

Where: The Ellipse near the White House and on the National Mall

Tickets: Free   


The menorah is lit every night of Hanukkah on the Ellipse, adjacent to the National Christmas Tree.  During the ceremony, hot donuts and latkes are served and there is musical entertainment.  This year, the US Air Force Band will perform on the first day of Hanukkah.  In 1979, Jimmy Carter left the White House after 100 days in isolation to light the menorah.  Since then, the president, or a member of his staff, has come to light the menorah.  Parking around the mall can be tough so use Parking Panda and reserve parking ahead of time for your trip to the National Christmas tree.  Click here to view our parking options.


The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot for Hunger

When: Thanksgiving Day at 8:30 am

Where: Freedom Plaza, Washington DC

Register: $30 for untimed runners, $35 for timed runners.  All proceeds benefit homeless and in-need families and individuals by providing food, clothing, and healthcare.  For more information and to register, visit the Trot For Hunger Website.  


This annual 5K road race is a Thanksgiving Day road race that runs through the center of Washington DC.   It is sponsored by SOME (So Other Might Eat).  It is the only turkey trot in DC and attracts thousands of people and raises thousands of dollars.  So far, the Turkey Trot has raised over $410,000 for people in-need.  For parking information, click here.


Presidential Turkey Pardon


This isn’t really event, but it is kind of hilarious.  The tradition was started by George H.W. Bush in 1989.  Every year since, the president issues a Presidential Pardon on a turkey, saving it from the dinner table.  Last year, President Obama spared a 38 lb turkey from Minnesota named Popcorn.  We’ll see who it is this year!


Happy Holidays and Happy Parking!


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