The annual evergreen Christmas tree gifted to Boston by Nova Scotia is slated to arrive at the Boston Common Friday with renewed meaning.
This year, Nova Scotia is dedicating the tree to healthcare workers, honoring both Boston's response to the 1917 Halifax Explosion and those who are working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boston police will escort the 45-foot white spruce from Billerica to the Boston Common around 11 a.m. Friday, according to Mayor Marty Walsh.
The occasion marks 103 years of friendship between Nova Scotia and the city of Boston. The tradition began after Boston helped when Halifax, Nova Scotia's capital, was devastated by a maritime munitions explosion in the harbor in 1917.
Nova Scotia is also sending an additional four smaller trees for donation to local charities.
Boston's official 2020 Christmas tree was donated by Heather and Tony Sampson of West Bay in Richmond County, Nova Scotia.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the province partnered with Port of Halifax, PSA Halifax and Eimskip Canada to transport the tree on a container vessel. After stopping at schools along its route, the tree left Halifax on Wednesday, Nov. 18, before being delivered to its new home in the Boston Common.