One of the coolest annual traditions we have here in our city involves trees on Boston Common, and for once we’re not talking about Hempfest.

As history has taught us, Boston was the first to respond to the great Halifax Explosion of 1917, sending the Boston Red Cross and the Massachusetts Public Safety Committee up to Nova Scotia to aid in recovery efforts. As a measure of gratitude, Nova Scotia donated a large tree to Boston. The gesture was reinstated in 1971, and the Canadian province has continued the tree-giving tradition every year since.

This year, a 53-foot white spruce tree has arrived in the city, and with the Boston Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony set for Thursday night out on the Common, the pre-party goes down tonight at Great Scott in Allston. And the free event features a trio of Nova Scotian exports selected by Music Nova Scotia and Halifax Pop Explosion.

Soundtracking the party, and commemorating the 100th anniversary of Boston’s response to the Halifax Explosion, will be folk-pop trio Port Cities, r&b/soul singer/songwriter Reeny Smith, and Celtic-pop string Cassie & Maggie.

It’s almost enough to forgive Nova Scotia for Sidney Crosby. Almost.

Check out each band and artist below via the event’s Spotify playlist, as well as video clips, and get more info on tonight’s party here. Featured Port Cities photo by Mat Dunlap, via Music Nova Scotia.

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9 p.m.: Reeny Smith

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