When the people of Halifax, Nova Scotia began gifting spruce trees to the city of Boston back in 1940, as a thanks for the help provided to them after a 1917 explosion killed over 1,700, it is safe to assume they were not thinking of saving energy in 2008 but this year Mayor Menino and the Park’s Department both have a green twinkle in their eye as the holiday tree will be illuminated by energy efficient LEDs instead of standard incandescent bulbs. This change is part of an effort to provide at least twenty percent more eco-friendly holiday decorations in the city; Frog Pond and the Parkman Bandstand will also be shrouded in a crisp blue-white glow this season.
This is the first year Boston will green up their holidays. Mary Hines, spokeswoman for the Park’s Department, is confident that most people will not be able to tell the difference and will be pleased with the change; presumably since it will likely save the city some of that other type of green. With approximately 8,000 LED diodes, there will be plenty of light to shine bright and once the season is over, the city will do a comparison to determine the level of electric energy we managed to save this year.
For those in the Boston area, the lighting ceremony begins tonight, Thursday December 4, at six o’clock and will be accompanied by a small fireworks display to give a little extra sparkle to the forty six foot tall spruce gifted by Clemantsvale residents Craig and Marina Cook who were grateful to be able to be a part of such a long standing tradition. When Boston discovers the beauty in energy saving, old traditions will meet with new as efficient LED bulbs twinkle on the tree every season to come.