Kathy Didden throws the switch and lights the Capitol Hill Christmas Tree on Saturday evening.
This year, the special programmed light show with music will play throughout December at the top of the hour from 5:00pm to 10pm. The display is being presented in partnership with Barracks Row Main Street and DC DPR.
Hundreds of Capitol Hill residents turned out for the lighting ceremony.
The local quartet Joyous Voices welcomed reverlers with holiday carols as the community gathered.
Patty Brosmer, President, Capitol HilllLBID, welcomed the crowd. The Capitol Hill Bid, along with Barrack Row Main Street and the DC Department of Public Works sponsored the event.
The Capitol Hill BID engaged Kojo Nnamdi, host of WAMU’s Political Hour, and Tom Sherwood, former WAPO reporter and current political analyst and City Paper congtributor, to be the Masters of Ceremony.
The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop’s Suzuki Strings performed.
As did the Washington Youth Choir.
Ward 6 Councilmember Charls Allen called the event the marquee for the Eastern Market Plaza space and shows “what an amazing community we live in … the amazing place we call home…I’m excited to be kicking this off … we love this tradition and love sharing it with you.”
Vocalist Adalia Jimenez returned this year and just prior to the tree lighting, sang what has become part of the tradition, the song Sunny, written and made famous by singer/songwriter Bobby Hebb as a tribute to and in memory of his older brother.
Kathy Didden with grandchildren.
Photo Essay: The 16th Annual Capitol Hill Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
by Larry Janezich
Posted November 27, 2022
Hundreds of Capitol Hill residents gathered at Eastern Market Metro Plaza on Saturday evening to welcome the winter holidays with the 16th Annual Lighting of the Capitol Hill Christmas Tree. Here’s how the tradition began.
In 2007, the Capitol Hill BID planted a 20-foot evergreen tree in the large circle garden near what is now the playground on the NE quadrant of Metro Plaza to honor their founding President George Didden, III. That same year, Didden was stricken with a devastating illness. In light of his precarious condition, the Capitol Hill BID had a larger monumental tree installed on the SW quadrant near the entrance to the Metro.
On December 7, 2007, the community came together to celebrate the lighting of the original smaller tree for the first time. A few weeks later, Didden passed away – but with the knowledge that both trees – the newer “Big George” and the original (now known as “Little George”) were in place.
Little George succumbed to disease in 2019 and was no longer decorated for the holidays. Big George – also known as “Sonny” – Didden’s nickname – still flourishes and now stands at 40’ in Didden’s honor. This is the tree that was lit Saturday night by Kathy Didden, wife of the late George Didden. She has flipped the switch to in the tree lighting ceremony since 2007.
The tree is decorated by the Capitol Hill BID’s “Men in Blue” every December, and illuminated in front of the Capitol Hill community to kick off the holiday season.
The special programmed light show with music, presented in partnership with Barracks Row Main Street and DC DPR will play throughout December from at the top of the hour from 5:00pm to 10pm.