A tradition of gratitude and holiday cheer continues today, Nov. 29, as a 15-meter (50-foot) Christmas tree from Nova Scotia takes centre stage at the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Boston. The ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. in Boston) and will be televised to an estimated viewing audience of 300,000 on WCVB Boston Channel 5, an ABC affiliate channel available in Atlantic Canada on cable. “For thousands of Nova Scotians and New Englanders, this event is the kickoff to the holiday season,” said Deputy Premier Frank Corbett. “We’re so very proud that a Nova Scotia Christmas tree is at the centre of this celebration, and I know the people of Boston are grateful for this gift.” Paul and Jan Hicks and their children Colin and Matthew from Jordan Bay, Shelburne Co., donated this year’s tree to Boston. The Christmas tree is an annual gift in recognition of the help provided in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion on Dec. 6, 1917. “In the aftermath of the Halifax explosion, a bond developed between the people of Boston and Nova Scotia that has grown even stronger,” said Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston. “We celebrate the strength, resilience and generosity of our friends to the north with their annual gift of the Christmas tree that stands at the centre of our holiday celebration to be enjoyed by tens of thousands of residents and visitors.” Nova Scotia is the title sponsor of the tree-lighting ceremony and the exclusive sponsor of the WCVB broadcast that will provide exposure to the province through commercials and other on-air mentions. Before the tree lighting, a delegation from Nova Scotia, including members of the percussion band SQUID, entertained early morning commuters, encouraging them to think about Nova Scotia and attend this evening’s festivities. Mr. Corbett also toured a local school and visited a gallery of images from the Halifax Explosion, now on display at Boston’s City Hall. This evening, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Addie MacCallum and Const. Scott MacKenzie will lead a procession of Nova Scotians and expatriates through the streets of Boston to the lighting. Highlights of the lighting and Nova Scotia’s activity in Boston can be found on Twitter @treeforBoston and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/treeforBoston .