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Boston Common Tree Lighting

The City of Boston and guests from the Province of Nova Scotia will celebrate the 82nd Annual Tree Lighting on Boston Common on Thursday, November 30. 

November 30, 2023

Monday, November 20, 2023 - Mayor Michelle Wu, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and title sponsor The Province of Nova Scotia will host Boston’s signature holiday celebration, the 82nd annual Boston Common Tree Lighting, on Thursday, November 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Boston Common, adjacent to the Visitor’s Information Center at 139 Tremont Street. 

Mayor Wu will be joined by Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, marking the 52nd 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.

“The Boston Common Tree Lighting has always been a special tradition kicking off Boston’s holiday season, and I’m grateful for Nova Scotia’s generous gift as we continue to honor our enduring friendship,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’re excited to welcome residents and visitors to the Common this winter with a symbol of the compassion and community spirit that the holiday season brings.”

WCVB Channel 5’s CHRONICLE co-anchors Anthony Everett and Shayna Seymour will host Channel 5’s live broadcast of the event beginning at 7 p.m. This year’s entertainment includes musician, singer, songwriter and four-time Grammy Award winner PJ Morton of Maroon 5, cast members from “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” the Flutie Foundation’s Spectrum of Sound choir, Nova Scotia’s own Celtic supergroup Còig and soul, hip hop, R&B, and Gospel artist O’Sound Lee, and more surprises.

The official holiday season kick-off in Boston includes the lighting of the City of Boston's official Christmas tree and other trees throughout Boston Common and the Public Garden. Boston’s official 2023 Christmas tree is a 40-year-old, 45-foot-tall white spruce donated by Bette Gourley of Stewiacke, N.S., and her family. 

The holiday lights throughout both parks will light up in sequence shortly before 8 p.m. when Mayor Wu is joined onstage by Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The show will close with a pyrotechnic display by Pyrotecnico.

The event is supported by title sponsor Province of Nova Scotia, presenting sponsor Amazon, signature sponsor Meet Boston, community sponsors Bank of America, JetBlue, The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID), and Constellation, and media sponsors WCVB Channel 5 and The Boston Globe. 

A sampling village will feature a photo-op, giveaways, and refreshments from several companies while supplies last.

Sponsors of the “Make the Common Glow for the Holidays” who make the lighting of the Common and Public Garden possible include The Lynch Family Foundation, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Jim and Cathy Stone, the Friends of the Public Garden, and Gilbane Building Company. 

Immediately following the celebration on the Boston Common, Mayor Michelle Wu, the Friends of the Public Garden, and the Committee to Light Commonwealth Avenue Mall will  flip the switch to light up Commonwealth Avenue Mall. 

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy and Charlesgate Alliance are building on this annual tradition and bringing their signature emerald green lighting to the Charlesgate Park block of the Mall for the third consecutive year. This event marks the first time that the lights on Commonwealth Avenue Mall will extend all the way to Kenmore Square. 

Please call (617) 635-4505 or visit for more information about the festivities. To stay up to date with news and events in Boston parks, sign up for the email list at and follow the social channels @bostonparksdept on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

November 30, 2023
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