The American National Christmas Tree was lit by American President Barack Obama amid dreary weather to make the undaunted spirit of the American people light up and welcome the season of festivity and joy. President Obama also reminded all of the Nelson Mandela the beloved South African leader who died yesterday, 06.12.13. He offered his special gratitude.
Obama recalled the great leader’s tremendous grace and unbelievable courage. He said that it is a privilege to live in a world touched by his goodness.
Before lighting the tree, Obama acknowledged the cold and rainy weather and proposed an abbreviated countdown before flipping on the lights.
Diva Aretha Franklin took to the stage soon after the tree was lit and sang the “Joy to the World.”
President Obama was accompanied by the first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and mother-in-law Marian Robinson while lighting the 91st annual tree-lighting ceremony.
The first lady read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” taking turns with a Sesame Street Muppet named Abby.
The evening was filled with great performances by the tenor trio Forte, Janelle Monae, Joshua Bell, Mariah Carey and Prince Royce. But the best part of the program was saved till the end when President Obama joined the performers on stage and showed the audience how well he could dance as he showed off a few dance steps.