Winds take down National Christmas Tree

The National Christmas Tree was toppled over on Tuesday by heavy winds on Washington D.C.’s chilliest day since last winter.

The massive tree, which is traditionally located on the Ellipse in the President’s Park, was on its side on a dark and cold Tuesday evening. As it was laying on the ground, the colorful lights that provided some decoration ahead of the official lighting later this week were still lit up.

The National Christmas Tree fell over at about 1 p.m. ET during a strong wind gust. After assessing the tree’s condition and replacing a snapped cable, the tree is now upright as of 6 p.m., according to The National Park Service (NPS).

NPS attributed the topple to “a strong wind gust this afternoon,” a spokesperson told The Hill.

The tree is expected to be lit on Thursday during a ceremony with a stage already set up to the side of the tree in preparation.

“As the saying goes, ‘the show must go on’ and the NPS and our event partners are looking at all possibilities to ensure a successful event this year,” the NPS spokesperson added.

The 40-foot Norway spruce arrived in Washington earlier this month from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, according to WTOP.

The lighting ceremony of the outdoor tree is an over 100-year tradition and often features celebrities and performers, as well as the president and first family.

A separate tree, dubbed the White House Christmas tree, stands in the Blue Room inside the White House with first lady Jill Biden welcoming that tree last week.

President Biden traveled to Atlanta and Colorado on Tuesday so was not at the White House when the tree fell. He is set to return on Wednesday.

Updated 6:22 p.m.

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