Skaggs to play at President’s tree lighting ceremony

The 2005 Christmas Pageant of Peace???opening ceremony will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2005. This is the 82nd lighting of the national Christmas tree. The event occurs at 5PM EST on the Ellipse near the White House.

This opening ceremony will feature performances from a number of musicians and bands, including Ricky Skaggs.

I spoke with both Tim Austin and Cody Kilby by phone. Cody told me that the performance will not include the entire Kentucky Thunder band, but rather Ricky and The Whites. Tim will be attending to run sound for them though.

Tickets are available to the public at no charge on a first come, first served basis. Here are the details.

The National Park Service will distribute free Christmas Pageant of Peace Tree Lighting Ceremony tickets to the public at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion at the south-west corner of 15th and E Streets, NW, on Saturday, November 5, 2005, beginning at 8:00 a.m.

The tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis until all are gone. A maximum of four tickets will be issued per person.

I called and spoke with the White House Visitor Center and was told that all available tickets have been given out, but there are often vacancies left when people who received tickets don’t show. They told me that you would be taking a chance on that, but could wait in the standby line on the day of event for such openings. The gates open at 3:30 PM and seating is limited to 5800 visitors.

For more history of the event:
White House website
National Park Service website