Metro

Boston’s Christmas tree arrives

Sofia Bazarra, 3, of Spain had her photo taken by her father in front of the giant tree in Boston Common.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
Sofia Bazarra, 3, of Spain had her photo taken by her father in front of the giant tree in Boston Common.

Boston’s Christmas tree was welcomed to Boston Friday morning with a police escort and Santa Claus himself.

The tree, a 49-foot, 72-year-old spruce that now sits near the Boston Visitors Center at 139 Tremont St., is a gift from Nova Scotia to Boston for the 44th year, according to a statement from the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.

The gift signifies Nova Scotia’s gratitude to Boston for providing emergency assistance when a 1917 explosion and fire in Halifax killed about 2,000 people.

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This year’s tree was donated by Andrea and William MacEachern from Pictou County in Nova Scotia. William MacEachern ran the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996 and placed in the top 5 percent.

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The tree was brought Friday morning from Billerica to downtown Boston, arriving on Boston Common at the corner of Beacon and Charles streets about 11 a.m. In attendance were Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook, an official Nova Scotian town crier, and many local schoolchildren.

The annual tree lighting ceremony will be Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

Maxwell Mulcahy, 2, of Boston watched the gigantic tree arrive on Boston Common.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
Maxwell Mulcahy, 2, of Boston watched the gigantic tree arrive on Boston Common.

Felicia Gans can be reached at felicia.gans@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.