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By Scott Roberto / November 11, 12:00 AM
Of Trees, Tubas and Holiday Tunes


Many Boston neighborhoods can claim major contributions to yuletide revelry during the holiday season, yet few areas of the city go all-out in quite the way Downtown Boston does. It all starts on November 12 with the annual lighting of the tree at Macy’s (pictured), followed by another yearly harbinger of joy on December 5 from 11 a.m.–noon: The annual Harvard University Band concert, a raucous set of seasonal songs followed by a tuneful march from the corner of Washington and Summer streets to Faneuil Hall. Enjoy Tuba Christmas on December 10 from noon–1:30 p.m., as Downtown Crossing (transformed into “Snowflake Crossing” in the lead-up to Christmas) hosts a brass group consisting of more than 100 festively attired area musicians who perform holiday classics on the Downtown Crossing Steps at the corner of Washington and Franklin streets on everything from euphoniums to sousaphones. In addition, a lobby decorating contest—which includes toy drives and holiday treats—takes place throughout the district in the early weekdays of December, with winners announced on December 20, while an immersive ice sculpture takes over the Downtown Crossing Steps December 16–18 from 11 a.m.–8 p.m. A wide array of other post-Thanksgiving programming can be savored as well, including the Downtown Boston Holiday Market at Summer Street Plaza through December 17, the local female a cappella group Sweet Harmony performing in that same spot on weekends through December 18, roaming carolers through December 18, weekend visits from Santa from December 3–18 and a visit by the Singing Nuns to One Summer Street on December 8 from noon–2 p.m. That’s enough cold-weather cheer to warm the hearts of even the most stubborn of Scrooges.

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