The annual gift of an evergreen Christmas tree from Nova Scotia will arrive by police escort at Boston Common at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, November 18.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of this traditional gift giving, a way to thank the people of Boston for providing emergency assistance when Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital city, was devastated by a wartime explosion in 1917.
Boston’s official 2016 Christmas tree is a 47-foot white spruce tree located alongside Hwy 395 in Ainslie Glen, Cape Breton. The tree is on a highway right-of-way and owned by the Province of Nova Scotia which is unusual because, with the exception of 1981, the Christmas trees sent to Boston have been donated by private property owners. The spruce is located near the Waycobah First Nations community nestled along the shores of the world-famous Bras d’Or Lakes. In addition, Nova Scotia is donating smaller trees to Rosie’s Place and the Pine Street Inn.
On November 18, the official 2016 Christmas tree will be escorted by the Boston Police Department beginning around 10 a.m. from Billerica via Route 3 South to Route 128 North to Interstate 93 South to Sullivan Square to Rutherford Avenue over the Charlestown bridge and will weave through downtown Boston on North Washington, New Chardon, Cambridge, Tremont, Boylston, and Charles Streets to enter Boston Common at the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets at approximately 11 a.m.
Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook, an official Nova Scotian town crier, Santa Claus, and local schoolchildren will greet the tree at its final destination near the Boston Visitors Center at 139 Tremont Street. The tree will be lit at approximately 7:55 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, as the City of Boston’s Official Tree Lighting is celebrated on Boston Common from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The 75th annual Tree Lighting on Boston Common is sponsored by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, title sponsor The Province of Nova Scotia, and presenting sponsor Distrigas/ENGIE with additional support provided by WCVB-TV Channel 5, Magic 106.7 FM, IKEA, Capital One, the Boston Herald, and the Boston Globe. For further information, please call the Boston Parks and Recreation Department at (617) 635-4505 or visit us on Facebook.