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Watch tree lightings from home this year as the holiday event go virtual

Santa Claus lights up a lobster trap tree in Provincetown's Lopes Square. A prerecorded video of the lighting will air online Saturday at 5 p.m.Crystal Popko

People weren’t able to go out on Gloucester’s waterfront to see this year’s 35-foot Christmas tree from Novia Scotia light up against the night sky, but they could watch the ceremony from their homes.

The lighting at Kent Circle was livestreamed on Facebook at 4:30 p.m.. Brent “Ringo” Tarr, who organizes the event with his family each year, said he hoped it would help spread some holiday cheer.

“Hopefully, all the people in Gloucester will be able to enjoy it,” Tarr said. “We’ve had tremendous feedback about pulling off this feat of getting the tree from Shelburne.”

The tree is usually driven down in a custom trailer by Tarr and several others from Shelburne, Nova Scotia. This year, because of travel restrictions from COVID-19, the tree had to be trucked to Halifax then carried down on a container ship to Portland, Maine, where the Tarrs picked it up.

“[This lighting] means that there are important things in our lives that can’t be disrupted because we have a pandemic,” said Ringo’s brother, State Senator Bruce Tarr. “We need to continue to have that spirit that brings us together.”


A virtual lighting in Provincetown was also aired on Facebook and provincetownview.com at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Viewers were able to see a prerecorded video of Santa Claus lighting up a lobster trap tree, instead of the typical spruce, that has decorated Lopes Square every year since 2003.

“We hope that people really like the video,” said Crystal Popko, who puts up the tree each year. “It’s short and sweet and it will make you feel good when you can’t go out and see [the tree] for yourself.”

For more upcoming virtual tree lightings:

The 79th Boston Common Tree Lighting

When: Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

Where to watch: WCVB Channel 5. For more information, click here.


Brewster Tree and Windmill Lighting

When: Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.

Where to watch: Brewster Cable Channel 99, the Brewster Chamber of Commerce website or the Brewster for the Holidays website.

Amherst Merry Maple Lighting

When: Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m.

Where to watch: The page Amherst Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.

Worcester Festival of Lights

When: Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.

Where to watch: Worcester City Government Channel - Spectrum 192, Facebook Live and at the website worcesterma.gov/video-on-demand.

Chatham Tree Lighting

When: Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.

Where to watch: The page Chatham, MA on Facebook.

Caroline Enos can be reached at caroline.enos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.