Tree lighting events planned at Statehouse, Boston Common

BOSTON (AP) — Thanksgiving is here, so can Christmas be far behind?

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito say the annual Statehouse tree lighting ceremony is planned for next Tuesday to officially kick off the holiday season in Massachusetts.

The event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday in Doric Hall, and will be followed by an open house and visit by Santa Claus to the Statehouse.

Two days later, on Dec. 1, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will join Stephen McNeil, the premier of Nova Scotia, for the 75th annual tree lighting ceremony on Boston Common.

Nova Scotia donates a tree to Boston each year as a token of thanks for relief efforts undertaken by Bostonians after a munitions ship exploded in Halifax Harbor in 1917, killing or injuring thousands of people.

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