It’s officially Christmas at the White House, with the 100th annual tree lighting ceremony taking place on the White House lawn on Wednesday. While first lady Jill Biden did the honors of lighting the tree, Vice President Kamala Harris and the second gentleman were also in attendance.
The evening had performances by rapper LL Cool J, singer Andy Grammar, and seven-time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan with her children.
This comes just after the White House finished decorating for the holiday season. During the Christmas decorations reveal, Jill Biden explained this year’s theme: “The soul of our nation is, and has always been, ‘We the People,’ that is what inspired this year’s White House holiday decoration.”
There are many nods to their dog, Commander, and cat, Willow, in the decorations this year. There is also a large copy of the Declaration of Independence and a 300-pound gingerbread White House. The Christmas tree in the Blue Room is supposed to represent a symbol of unity, filled with the official birds from all 50 states, 7 territories, and the District of Columbia.
With the help of more than 150 volunteers, including two of the first lady’s sisters, the White House is now filled with 83,000 lights and 77 Christmas trees, along with 25 wreaths adorning the White House exterior.