The following is an edited press release from the city's Parks Department:
Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Deputy Premier of Nova Scotia the Honourable Frank Corbett are pleased to announce Boston’s 71st Annual Official Tree Lighting on Boston Common on Thursday, November 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The holiday decorations throughout Boston Common and the Public Garden, including the City of Boston’s official Christmas tree from Halifax, a 45-foot white spruce donated by Paul and Jan Hicks of Jordan Bay, Nova Scotia, will light up in sequence shortly before 8 p.m. when Mayor Menino is scheduled to be joined onstage by Deputy Premier Corbett, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Santa Claus. The show will close with a pyrotechnic display by Pyrospectaculars, Inc.
WCVB TV’s Anthony Everett and JC Monahan will host Channel 5’s live broadcast of the event beginning at 7 p.m. featuring Elliot Yamin of “American Idol,” “The Voice” contestant James Massone, Nova Scotia band Squid, the Floorlords, the Boston Arts Academy, an appearance by the Grinch, and much more.
One of the most acclaimed performers in the show’s history, “American Idol” finalist Elliott Yamin auditioned for the 2006 competition in Boston and made it through to the Hollywood rounds. Guest coach Stevie Wonder told Yamin that he should definitely pursue a career in music, while judge Simon Cowell stated that he thought Yamin was “potentially the best male vocalist" in five seasons on “American Idol.” Elliott ended up the third place winner behind Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee after one of the tightest races in “American Idol” history.
Wakefield native James Massone performed on season two of NBC’s series “The Voice.” His performance reached over one million hits on YouTube. James currently splits his time between family in the Boston area, where his parents reside, and Los Angeles.
The Floorlords have been at the forefront of hip-hop culture for more than three decades, helping to define and ultimately expand upon the art of b-boying, more commonly known as breakdancing.
The lighting of the trees on the Common is made possible through the generosity of Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch, a gift from the Egan Family to the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Emerson College, Suffolk University, Mr. and Mrs. James Stone, Colliers International, A.W. Perry, Inc., 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 fun giveaways will be provided by in-kind sponsors Dunkin’ Donuts, HP Hood LLC, and Nantucket Nectars.
This is the 41st year that Nova Scotia has given a tree to the people of Boston as thanks for relief efforts following the December 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.
“Pine Street Inn is very grateful to our friends in Halifax for their generous donation of this beautiful Christmas tree,” said Lyndia Downie, President of Pine Street Inn. “This tree will really help brighten the holidays for our tenants.”
This year is the second that 54,000 LED lights will be installed during the holiday season on Boston Common. Six thousand lights will be placed on the Nova Scotia Christmas tree by Sullivan & McLaughlin Companies, Inc., with 48,000 additional LED lights decorating 60 trees visible to the public traveling on Beacon, Park, Tremont, and Charles Streets.
The holiday lighting scheme includes four-color LED lights on three structures on Boston Common: the Visitors Information Center; Parkman Bandstand; and a Parks Department building in the Deer Park maintenance yard. Soft white-colored LED lights will be used on trees at several entrances to the park.
Immediately following the Boston Common tree lighting, Mayor Menino will join Back Bay residents at Arlington Street for the lighting of Commonwealth Avenue Mall. 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.