Photo Credit: Kristin Barlowe

Today, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation announced that country music star Rodney Atkins has been announced as a performer at the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting festivities on Thursday, December 1, 2011 on the Ellipse at President’s Park in Washington, D.C. Atkins will join television and radio personality Carson Daly who is hosting the event with additional musical performances from OneRepublic and singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius. The evening will also feature a special appearance by Kermit the Frog along with several other special guests. Additional performers and special guests for the event will be announced shortly.

The ceremony will usher in the holiday season in our nation’s capital and can be viewed LIVE online at www.thenationaltree.org beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST with the exclusive National Christmas Tree Lighting pre-show. The event can also be seen on public television throughout the month of December. Check local listings or visit www.thenationaltree.org for more information.

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony marks the opening of the four-week event sponsored by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s National Parks. Originated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1923, this year’s ceremony marks the 89th National Christmas Tree Lighting. The annual event has become an American holiday tradition. For more information about the 2011 National Christmas Tree Lighting, visit www.thenationaltree.org.