WASHINGTON (WDVM) – President Biden lit the National Christmas Tree at the 99th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday.

The 99th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting included a star-studded lineup to help welcome the holiday season in Washington, DC. The annual ceremony took place on the Ellipse near the White House.

The massive 27-foot wide tree nicknamed “Sugar Bear” is a white fir from California. The tree is now surrounded by dozens of smaller trees decorated with original ornaments handcrafted by students who represent every state, territory, and the District of Columbia.

The President and First Lady carried out the tradition of lighting the tree and explained the traditions, heritage, and how this year’s tree symbolizes a grander meaning.

“It’s a bright beacon of hope that reminds us of the promise we find in scripture of finding light in darkness which is also a very American thing to do,” the President said.

The tree will be up in the nation’s capital until Jan. 1.