WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service is offering more free tickets for this year’s national Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Washington than in years past.

This year’s lighting is scheduled for Dec. 1 in front of the White House. This year the Park Service will distribute 3,000 tickets for seats and 14,000 standing-room tickets through an online lottery.

The ticket lottery opens at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Nov. 3 and will run through Nov. 7 at 9:59 p.m. Tickets will be mailed to the lottery winners.

The president traditionally lights the tree, along with his family. Performers for the event will be announced in November.

Since 2009, the Park Service has doubled the number of standing-room tickets for the event.

Tickets are required for all who attend.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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