Road closures, heightened security in place for National Christmas Tree Lighting

- Heightened security is expected at the White House for the National Christmas Tree Lighting where hundreds of people will gather Thursday night.

The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and will be hosted by actress Reese Witherspoon. The lineup also includes Fallout Boy, Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Joyous String Quartet.

On Wednesday, police and bomb-sniffing dogs were out in full-force at the annual lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree. Metal detectors and barricades were set up around the area for the event that came just hours after a mass shooting killed 14 in San Bernardino.

A heightened state of alert that has been in place since the November 13th attacks in Paris will continue at area Metro stations in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

Officials have said there is no credible threat to the U.S. or for the Washington, D.C. area.

D.C. Police have issued the following street closures beginning at 2 p.m. until the event has concluded at approximately 9 p.m.:

  • 17th Street, NW closed from Independence Avenue to New York Avenue, NW
  • 15th Street, NW closed from Independence Avenue to New York Avenue, NW
  • Constitution Avenue from 14th Street to 18th Street, NW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from 14th Street to 15th Street, NW
  • Madison Drive from 14th Street to 15th Street, NW
  • Jefferson Drive from 14th Street to 15th Street, NW

Bag Policy:

  • Each guest may carry a clear bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon clear freezer bag (Ziploc or similar). 
  • In addition, guests may carry a small clutch bag or purse no larger than 6.5 inches by 4.5 inches, with or without a strap.

Prohibited items include: 


• Aerosols 
• Ammunition 
• Animals other than service/guide dogs 
• Backpacks
• Bags and signs exceeding size restrictions
• Balloons
• Bicycles
• Coolers
• Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems
• Explosives
• Firearms
• Glass, thermal or metal containers
• Laser pointers
• Mace/Pepper spray
• Packages
• Selfie sticks
• Structures
• Supports for signs and placards
• Toy guns
• Weapons of any kind
• Any other item determined to be a potential hazard

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