BOSTON – Wednesday, November 25, 2015 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, will host Boston’s 74th Annual Official Tree Lighting on Boston Common on Thursday, December 3, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“For 74 years, the Boston Common Tree Lighting ceremony has been a symbol of the start of the holiday season in Boston,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “From the time Halifax sent Boston the first Christmas tree as a gift of appreciation for our help many years ago, we have shared this tradition that commemorates not only the holidays, but also a bond between the people of Nova Scotia and our City. I am proud to keep our long standing tradition alive this holiday season, and look forward to season full of fun holiday festivities and community spirit.”
The celebration is presented by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, title sponsor The Province of Nova Scotia, and presenting sponsor Distrigas/GDF SUEZ with additional support provided by WCVB-TV Channel 5, Magic 106.7 FM, the Boston Herald, and the Boston Globe.
The holiday decorations throughout Boston Common and the Public Garden include the City of Boston’s official Christmas tree, a 49-foot spruce donated by Andrea and William MacEachern of Lorne in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia also donated smaller trees to Rosie’s Place and the Pine Street Inn.
The holiday lights throughout both parks will light up in sequence shortly before 8 p.m. when Mayor Walsh is joined onstage by Premier McNeil, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Santa Claus. The show will close with a pyrotechnic display by MagicFire, Inc.
WCVB TV’s Anthony Everett and JC Monahan will host Channel 5’s live broadcast of the event beginning at 7 p.m. featuring cast members from Elf: The Musical, The Voice contestant Michelle Brooks Thompson, Nova Scotia’s Dave Gunning, Black Nativity, Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, and Berklee College of Music’s co-ed contemporary a cappella group Pitch Slapped.
The lighting of the trees on the Common is made possible through the generosity of the Egan Family, the Lynch Family, the Greater Boston Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Boston Bruins Foundation, Diversified Automotive Inc., John Moriarty & Associates, Thomas A. Kershaw, Steward Health Care System, and contributions from other individuals and institutions.
The annual holiday display includes the official Christmas tree from Nova Scotia and trees throughout Boston Common. Refreshments and additional support will be provided by promotional sponsors Dunkin’ Donuts, DAVIDsTEA, Polar Beverages, H.P. Hood LLC, Capital One 360, L.L. Bean, XFINITY, and Essential Water.
This is the 44th year that Nova Scotia has given a tree to the people of Boston as thanks for relief efforts following the December 6, 1917, explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor. Within 24 hours of the disaster a train loaded with supplies and emergency personnel was making its way from Boston to Nova Scotia.