Union Station Holiday Extravaganza and 23rd Annual Norwegian Tree Lighting Ceremony – A Great Success!

The Union Station holiday extravaganza and 23rd annual Norwegian tree lighting ceremony took place on December 3, 2019. A consortium of partners, including the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce Mid-Atlantic ChapterWashington Performing Arts, Union Station, and exclusive media partner WHUR 96.3 FM, presented the Norwegian holiday tree to the people of Washington, DC. On behalf of the citizens of Norway, this generous gift symbolizes gratitude for the assistance Norway received during WWII and appreciation for the strong friendship between the two countries.

This year, the theme for the decorations of the 32-foot tree was the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These goals address the challenges we face as a global community and the 2030 target for achieving them.

This great, free, family-friendly event kicked off with a wonderful performance by the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir. Attendees were then given some background information by WHUR 96.3 DJ EZ Street. This was followed by remarks by Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Kåre R. Aas, and Member of the Norwegian Parliament Linda Helleland, who came all the way from Norway to light the tree. The amazing trio, the String Queens, performed a number of songs throughout the evening. The highlight for the children and the young at heart was the visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, who came from the North Pole to give treats and pose for many photos.

All in all, once again, as in years before, it was a joyous occasion.

The tree all lit up with the String Queens off to the side.
Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir
Norway’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Kåre R. Aas, and Member of the Norwegian Parliament Linda Helleland with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Additional photos can be seen on USRC’s Facebook page.
Photo Credit: Jillian Hess, USRC Public Relations and Outreach Manager

The 2019 Norwegian holiday tree lighting was made possible by Equinor, Kongsberg Gruppen, Nammo Inc., Innovation Norway, Insitu Inc., BAO Systems, FLIR, and Mars Arts DC, a partnership of Mars Incorporated and Washington Performing Arts, with support from Jacqueline Badger Mars.