Christmas tree for Boston to come from Cape Breton for 1st time
Nova Scotia gifts a Christmas tree to Boston every year in thanks for aid after Halifax explosion
It is by tradition the first Christmas tree to be lit every year on the Boston Common — a gift from Nova Scotia for the American city's help 99 years ago when the Halifax Explosion killed or injured 11,000 people.
On Friday, the province announced it has picked its 2016 tree, which will come for the first time from Cape Breton and be sent off with a distinct Mi'kmaq flavour.
The 14-metre white spruce will be taken from Crown-owned land close to the Waycobah First Nation.
The Nov. 15 tree-cutting will feature a drum group from Waycobah as well as a fiddler and bagpiper.
The Dec. 1 lighting ceremony in Boston is expected to draw 30,000 people, with 240,000 more watching live on TV.
Waycobah Chief Rod Googoo says his people are proud to take part, because the Mi'kmaq were the first to recognize the United States as an independent country in 1776.
Boston famously sent medical personnel and supplies after the Halifax Explosion, which killed almost 2,000 people and levelled a Mi'kmaq village when a munitions ship exploded in Halifax Harbour on Dec. 6, 1917.