Hundreds of Nova Scotia elementary students in white “I heart NS” toques cheered and waved flags to celebrate Nova Scotia’s Christmas tree for Boston today, Nov. 13, in Jordan Bay, Shelburne Co. Nova Scotia is giving the 15 metre (50 feet) 70-year old, white spruce to the American city as part of the yearly tradition now entering its fifth decade. “Each year we give Boston one of Nova Scotia’s biggest and best Christmas trees as a gesture of our gratitude for help they sent to Halifax,” said Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau, on behalf of Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. “The province is also grateful to the Hicks family for their generous donation of this tree to represent Nova Scotia in Boston.” The tree was donated by Paul and Jan Hicks of Shelburne County and was cut today at a public ceremony. “It is a thrill for us to have our tree become part of the Boston tree history and to host this happy gathering here on our property,” said Mr. Hicks. “Our young sons, Matthew and Colin, know the Boston tree story and are very excited.” Red-uniformed RCMP officers stood at attention and the gathering was addressed by Mr. Belliveau and Angus Bonnyman of the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia children’s author Bruce Nunn read from his book Buddy, the Bluenose Reindeer and the Boston Christmas Tree Adventure to students and teachers present from Lockeport Elementary, and Hillcrest Academy. The tree is being transported by the department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal via the Digby ferry, across the Bay of Fundy to Saint John, N.B., then down through Maine and on to Massachusetts. It will arrive at Boston Common under police escort and be erected and decorated with hundreds of LED lights. The special tree lighting ceremony will be televised before a crowd of about 30,000 to a TV audience of about 300,000. The ceremony will feature two live performances from the Nova Scotian percussion ensemble Squid and remarks by Boston mayor Thomas Menino and the deputy premier of Nova Scotia, Frank Corbett. Each year since 1971, Nova Scotia has sent Boston a large Christmas tree in gratitude for help Bostonians provided after the devastating Halifax Explosion of Dec. 6, 1917. Boston provided doctors, nurses, and supplies to help treat explosion victims. To learn more, go to http://novascotia.ca/TreeforBoston. Follow the tree’s travels on Twitter @treeforBoston and friend the tree on Facebook at www.facebook.com/treeforboston.