The Obamas lit up the start of the holiday season for their last time as the first family of the United States, and they did it with the help of a few sparkling friends.
A parade of celebrities joined Michelle, Sasha and President Barack Obama on Thursday to ring in the season during the 94th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting at the White House’s President’s Park.
The ceremony, which has been held every year since President Calvin Coolidge began it in 1923, was hosted by actress Eva Longoria.
Some of the country’s most celebrated musical artists from nearly every genre came to celebrate with the Obamas, with performances by Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Marc Anthony, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, and The Lumineers.
Obama used the ceremony’s closing remarks to urge the country to love and accept every single person, regardless of faith or race.
“It’s a message of unity and a message of decency and a message of hope that never goes out of style. And it’s one that we all need very much today,” Obama told the crowd. “After eight years as your president, I still believe that there is so much more that unites us than divides us.”
The traditional ceremony was as wholesome as it was glamorous, with a reading of “A Visit From St. Nicholas” by the first lady and Simone Manuel, the first female African-American swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal.
This year’s tree-lighting marks the last time the Obamas will participate in the White House tradition. Next year’s presidential tree lighting will likely be hosted by the Trump family.
Below, watch the Obamas host their final national tree lighting.
Watch the entire National Tree Lighting Ceremony here.
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