Mayor Thomas M. Menino joins the Honourable Andrew Younger, Minister with the Government of Nova Scotia, for Boston’s 72nd annual Official Tree Lighting on Boston Common on Thursday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The celebration is hosted by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, title sponsor the Province of Nova Scotia, lead sponsor TripAdvisor’s tripadvisor.com/careers, and presenting sponsors Distrigas/GDF SUEZ and Stop & Shop. Additional support is 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, including the City of Boston’s official Christmas tree from Halifax, a 47-foot white spruce donated by Mary Lou Milligan of Millcove, Lunenberg County, Nova Scotia, will light up in sequence shortly before 8 p.m. when Menino is joined onstage by Younger, 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. and featuring “American Idol” season 11 finalist Erica Van Pelt, Blue Man Group, Nova Scotia band Squid Precision Drumming, Morning Star Baptist Church Gospel Choir, Boston Ballet, Boston Celtics official junior dance team Lil Phunk, and a headliner to be announced.
The lighting of the trees on the Common is made possible through the generosity of Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch, Christopher and Jean Egan, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Home Depot, Suffolk University, Emerson College, Mr. and Mrs. James Stone, Trinity Financial, City of Boston Credit Union, Mass Bay Credit Union, The Druker Company’s Colonnade Hotel and The Heritage on The Garden and contributions from other individuals and institutions.
The annual holiday display includes the official Christmas tree from Halifax and trees throughout Boston Common with ten additional trees around the Frog Pond skating rink sponsored by The Skating Club of Boston. Refreshments and additional support will be provided by promotional sponsors Dunkin’ Donuts, DAVIDs TEA, Archway Cookies, and Boston Ballet.
This is the 42nd year that Nova Scotia has given a tree to the people of Boston as thanks for relief efforts following the Dec. 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. In addition this year, Nova Scotia is donating smaller trees to two Boston charities, the Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place.
Immediately following the Boston Common tree lighting, Menino will join Back Bay residents at Arlington Street for the lighting of Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided by Taj Boston. Trees along the Mall will be illuminated through April 1, with elegant white lights made possible thanks to community support and private donations raised by the Committee to Light Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
For more information, call 617-635-4505, go to www.cityofboston.gov/parks or visit the Parks Department on Facebook. For Boston Common parking information, visit www.massconvention.com/bcg.html.