A 37-year tradition of thanks and holiday spirit will continue as Nova Scotia takes centre stage at the annual Tree Lighting ceremony in Boston today, Dec. 4. The province is again giving the City of Boston a Christmas tree in recognition of the help it provided in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion. This year’s tree is a 14-metre white spruce from Craig and Marina Cook of Clementsvale, Annapolis Co. “The people of Boston came to the aid of Nova Scotia back in 1917, after the devastation of the Halifax Explosion. It was an act of kindness that helped thousands,” said Judy Streatch, minister responsible for Nova Scotia “Come to life”, on behalf of Premier Rodney MacDonald. “Nova Scotians will never forget that heart-felt aid. That’s why we come here every December offering a small token, but a rather big tree, as gratitude for that kindness.” As the title sponsor of Boston’s official Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, Nova Scotia “Come to life” will also give the gift of music with a performance by the Garrett Mason Band. Mr. Mason, an award-winning blues musician, will perform for an anticipated 30,000 people on the Boston Common. He was born and raised in Truro, and is the son of Canadian blues legend Dutch Mason and will perform a song written for the occasion. The tree lighting portion of the event will be televised to an estimated viewing audience of 300,000. Halifax and Boston share an important bond, with economic, historical and cultural ties. The event allows Nova Scotia to reach a wide audience, including Bostonians, businesses and ex-pats living in the Boston area, and tell the Nova Scotia story, promoting the province as an excellent place to visit, live, learn and do business. Before the tree lighting, a delegation from Nova Scotia will host a reception for businesses, media, university alumni and tourist operators. While in Boston, representatives from Nova Scotia “Come to life” will meet with the Boston Sounding Board, one of five advisory groups that provide input on how Nova Scotia is perceived in the board’s market and give advice on how the province can best capitalize on opportunities within that market. The meeting will provide an update on the initiative’s programs, coming plans for marketing communications and an opportunity for inpute and feedback on topics relating to Nova Scotia.