Lottery opening for DC tree lighting ceremony

FILE - This Dec. 1, 2011 file photo shows the National Christmas Tree after it was lit by President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha Obama on the Ellipse across from the White House in Washington. The National Park Service is opening a lottery for free tickets to attend this year's National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Washington. This year's lighting is scheduled for Dec. 6. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service is opening a lottery for free tickets to attend this year's National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony in Washington.

The online lottery for the ceremony, which is celebrating its 90th year, opens Thursday at 10 a.m. The lottery will close at 10 a.m. on Monday. Officials say there are 17,000 tickets available this year. That's 3,000 seats and 14,000 standing-room tickets.

This year's lighting is scheduled for Dec. 6. The president traditionally lights the tree along with his family.

___

Online: http://www.thenationaltree.org/