The 74th annual City of Boston Official Tree Lighting and the Frog Pond Skating Spectacular add a holiday glow to Boston Common
How do you spice up a grand holiday tradition that has been in place for nearly 75 years? Easy. Just add figure skating. That’s the plan, anyway, as the customary lighting ceremony for the City of Boston’s official Christmas tree—taking place on Boston Common December 3 from 6–8 p.m.—is being accompanied by a showcase sponsored by The Skating Club of Boston.
The tree itself, a 50-foot spruce that arrived via police escort on November 20, continues a tradition that celebrates its 44th year in 2015. Back in 1917, during World War I, a damaged munitions ship off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, exploded, causing a tremendous loss of life and untold damage to the city. Boston was one of the first municipalities to respond to the crisis with supplies and medical personnel, and as a result, Nova Scotia has donated a tree annually to the Hub since 1971.
While the December 3 lighting ceremony is a beloved and much anticipated event in itself, it is preceded by a happening that looks to generate just as much excitement. The nearby Frog Pond, home to a popular outdoor skating rink, hosts a free demonstration of ice skating prowess from 5–6 p.m. Expect an array of national and international figure skaters, synchronized skating and Theatre On Ice teams. While you’re there, warm up with a hot chocolate or snack at the Frog Pond Café.
Mayor Marty Walsh then takes over, presiding over the tree lighting along the Tremont Street side of Boston Common. The ceremony also includes fireworks, live music and refreshments from event sponsors like Dunkin’ Donuts and Polar Beverages.