(CNN) - President Barack Obama and his family lit the National Christmas Tree on Thursday continuing a 90-year tradition started under President Calvin Coolidge.
Performers at the event included James Taylor, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Colbie Caillat, and Phillip Phillips.
"In times of war and peace, triumph and tragedy, we’ve always come together to rejoice in the Christmas miracle," Obama said. "But our tree has been having a hard time recently - this is our third one in as many years. Our longstanding tree was lost in a storm, and then its replacement didn’t take hold. It just goes to show, nobody’s job is safe here in Washington. But I feel good about this one. It was planted just days before Hurricane Sandy, and it made it through the storm in one piece."