Nova Scotians wished the Nova Scotia tree for Boston safe travels while enjoying a live musical performance by local band The Stanfields today, Nov. 18, in Halifax’s Grand Parade.
Every year, Nova Scotia sends a tree to the people of Boston to say thank you for their help in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion in 1917.
This year’s tree was donated by John and Ethel Ann MacPherson of Purlbrook, Antigonish Co., and is the 43rd tree Nova Scotia has sent to Boston since the tradition began in 1971.
“This year’s tree for Boston is dedicated to a special man who celebrated this special tradition for 20 years,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I proudly dedicate this year’s tree to the memory of Mayor Thomas Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor, and proud Nova Scotia supporter.”
The tree for Boston began its journey at 9:15 a.m., making its way from Kearney Lake Road to St. Stephen’s Elementary School, which partnered with another elementary school in Boston to Skype and learn more about the tradition. The tree then continued through the north end of Halifax to Grand Parade with police and fire escort for the ceremony.
“We are very grateful to the people of Nova Scotia for their continued generosity,” said Martin Walsh, Mayor of Boston. “The Nova Scotia Christmas tree is a wonderful tradition, symbolizing the strong friendship between Nova Scotia and Boston.”
The tree is now en route to Boston on a Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal flatbed truck. It will stop in Amherst at the Nova Scotia Visitor Information Centre for a public viewing and photo opportunity before making its way through New Brunswick, Maine and on to Massachusetts. It will arrive at Boston Common on Friday, Nov. 21, under police escort, and be decorated with thousands of LED lights.
The tree-lighting ceremony on Boston Common, Thursday, Dec. 4, will also feature a live musical performance by The Stanfields. The ceremony attracts about 20,000 people and is broadcast live on the ABC Boston television channel to an audience of about 300,000.
“We’re very excited to be representing Nova Scotia and performing in front of our American friends,” said Jon Landry of The Stanfields. “The holidays are about giving back and this celebrated tradition is the perfect example of the spirit of giving.”