The Blink Tree Lighting Spectacular. Photo Credit: Kayla Baker
Boston’s first Christmas tree has been lit and one of the region’s newest Christmas traditions has been rekindled. On Saturday night the Tree Lighting Spectacular at Fanueil Hall kicked off this year’s start of Blink!, a seven minute light show set to the tunes of the Holiday Pops. Thousands of people jammed into the area around Quincy Market for a star studded show that was televised on WBV-TV and simulcast on myTV38. The entertainment in the marketplace began at 3:00, and at 8:00 the cameras turned on and the big show began.
During the live hour-long event, which was co-hosted by WBZ news anchors Lisa Hughes and David Wade, Christmas carols were performed by singer songwriter Livingston Taylor, musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, America’s Got Talent finalist Sons of Serendip, and the Boston Children’s Chorus. The Boston Ballet performed selections from The Nutcracker, and Blue Man Group and Cirque Dreams Holidaze each put on displays that wowed the crowds.
The focal point of the show was a huge Christmas tree at the semi-circular end of South Market Street. The tree, which stands more than 80′ tall, is the largest in northeast, eclipsing even New York’s Rockefeller Center’s famous tree. As the 9:00 hour approached, the crowd began to count down and several special guests, including Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, and Santa Claus himself, helped flip the switch to light the tree.
If you missed the 4th Annual Tree Lighting Spectacular, you still have a chance to catch Blink!. For the next six weeks the state of the art light and sound shows will run daily beginning at 4:30. Trees on the South Market side run every hour on the half hour. On the northern side of the market, the first show kicks off at 5:00 and runs every hour at the top of the hour. The final performance is at 9:30. More than 350,000 LED lights are used in the display, which runs through New Year’s Day.
All season long a series of outdoor performances will entertain shoppers as they bustle throughout the marketplace searching for the perfect gift to leave under the tree at home. Companies from touring Broadway shows will be found, as will pop bands, holiday carolers, dance troupes, bell ringers, and local musicians. The New England Patriots also have gotten in on the act, as Fanueil Hall is an official drop off location for their annual toy drive for needy children.
The early entertainment Saturday afternoon included The Revels Singers, Scullers Jazz Club, and the Them Apples Band. After the switch was thrown and the tree was lit up, The Sugarbabies Band also performed a concert from 9:00 to 10:00.
It’s never too early to start celebrating the holidays, and it’s not too late to catch downtown’s holiday spectacular. Happy Holidays!