Boston Common tree lighting illuminates holiday spirit

By Ryan Forgosh, Staff Writer, News

Just before 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Mayor Michelle Wu, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, and WCVB hosts flipped the switch to light the Nova Scotian Christmas tree and illuminate the Boston Common, ringing in the holiday season.

Once the countdown concluded, the crowd sprung to life with cheers for the newly-illuminated park. The crowd was greeted with a pyrotechnics show to conclude the celebration.

Nova Scotia has gifted Boston a white spruce tree for 41 consecutive years as a thank-you for Massachusetts’s immediate aid after the Halifax Explosion.

In 1917, two ships collided in the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia causing an explosion equivalent to that of an atomic bomb. Within an hour of the explosion, Boston sent aid and supplies to Halifax for support.

“We will never ever forget that kindness,” Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said in a speech during the lighting. “That’s what being a good neighbor means. We love the people of Boston.”

The event featured performances from Three Second Chances, OrigiNation dance troupe, and Northeastern acapella group Pitch Please, the cast of Broadway on Boston’s SIX, The Voice finalist Michelle Brooks Thompson, Sons of Serendip, Jimmy Rankin, Reeny Smith, and Tigirlily Gold.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu also attended the tree lighting, welcoming in the holiday season with the rest of the event-goers.

“What I love about Boston is that we are a city that takes care of each other,” Wu said as she addressed the crowd. “There’s no better season for that in every neighborhood than right now.”

Thursday night was first-year media studies major Kellyn Taylor’s first tree-lighting event. 

“I thought it was fun. It was really crowded,” Taylor said. However, they added, “I wish there were more lights. I don’t think they’re evenly dispersed.”

Despite being the largest tree lighting event in the city, Thursday evening didn’t bring quite the spectacle that some crowd members hoped for. Some children even expressed their displeasure to their parents over Santa Claus not making his appearance until the end of the night.

However, the tree lighting event brought the Boston community together, providing a sense of togetherness. 

“I think [Boston] should [do more events],” Taylor said. “It’s a good community thing. It’s a nice thing to go to.”

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall and Boston Public Garden were both illuminated in coordination with the Common. More holiday events will commence across Boston throughout early December, including the lighting of the 32-foot tall Menorah in Copley Square on Dec. 18.