Washington's Top Holiday Events 2008

By Brendan Spiegel September 26, 2008, 1:52 PM EDT

The Memorial Day Concert is held on the west lawn of the Capitol each year.

Photo: Courtesy of Capitol Concerts

1. White House Easter Egg Roll
This year, 22,000 tickets were given to kids and parents, who gathered on the south lawn of the White House for Easter fun with the first couple, the Jonas Brothers, Mickey Mouse, and Troy Aikman. The American Egg Board provides more than 15,000 dyed eggs for the event, which is coordinated by the Office of the First Lady.

2. A Capitol Fourth
Actor Jimmy Smits hosted the 28th edition of this Independence Day celebration on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The pre-fireworks festivities included performances from Taylor Hicks and Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell. Broadcast live on PBS and NPR, the show is organized by Capital Concerts, led by executive producer Jerry Colbert and producer Walter Miller.

3. Pageant of Peace/Lighting of the National Christmas Tree
The holiday season officially begins in Washington when the president and first lady light the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. The December 6, 2007, ceremony featured country singer Sara Evans and the United States Air Force Band. Just under 3,000 tickets were distributed to the public. The pageant is presented by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, while Kathy Presciano of General Electric serves as lighting consultant.

4. Memorial Day Concert
Every year on the Sunday before Memorial Day, the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol hosts this concert, broadcast live on PBS and the American Forces Radio and Television Network. The event was co-hosted by actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise and produced by Jerry Colbert and Walter Miller of Capital Concerts.

5. Christmas in Washington
The president and first lady traditionally attend this holiday concert and fund-raiser for the National Children’s Medical Center, held at the National Building Museum. In 2007, talk-show host Dr. Phil McGraw and his wife, Robin, returned as hosts for the fourth time. Musical guests included Ne-Yo and Alan Jackson. The show is produced by George and Michael Stevens of the Stevens Company.

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