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Nova Scotia tree makes trek to Boston in holiday tradition of thanks

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  November 16, 2012 03:05 PM

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(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com)

Boston's official Christmas tree arrives in Boston Common Friday morning. The tree, a gift from Nova Scotia, dons the province's flag for the trip.

It was a long ride, but Boston’s official Christmas tree arrived from Nova Scotia Friday ready to ring in the holiday season with plenty of time to spare.

The 45-foot white spruce rode into the city on the back of a flatbed truck and took a tour through downtown escorted by Boston Police before arriving at the gates of the Boston Common.

This is the 41st year the city has received a tree from Nova Scotia. The holiday tradition began as a way to thank Boston for the help it sent to Halifax, the province’s capital, after a munitions ship exploded in Halifax Harbor on December 6, 1917.

Boston had a train stocked with supplies and emergency personnel en route to the city within 24 hours.

This year’s tree was donated by Paul and Jan Hicks of Jordan Bay, Nova Scotia. Two smaller trees are also being donated to the Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place.

Once in the Common, the tree was greeted by and a students from Mather Elementary School in Dorchester who have become pen pals with children at St. Stephen’s School in Halifax.

The fourth graders shouted “Thank you Nova Scotia” in unison and waved miniature flags as the tree was driven onto the section of lawn near Tremont Street that would be its holiday home.

Tree Air.jpg

(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com)

The tree as it was lifted from its truck bed.

Santa Claus, too, came down to the Common a bit early to watch as workers removed branches and a crane hoisted the tree in the air before placing it in a tree stand buried in the ground.

With the towering tree in place, workers will begin decorating the seasonal centerpiece with 6,000 LED lights and string another 48,000 LED lights on 60 other trees throughout the Common.

Revelers, however, will have to wait until Thursday, November 29, to see the lights twinkle. That’s when the city will flip the switch to light the Common at an evening ceremony.

Tree Kids.JPG

(Photo by Johanna Kaiser for boston.com)

Students from Dorchester's Mather Elementary School celebrate the arrival of the tree.

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