Thursday evening, Chronicle’s Anthony Everett and NewsCenter Five’s JC Monahan were on hand to host Channel 5’s live broadcast of the annual Boston Common tree lighting ceremony, which featured performances by the Radio City Rockettes, 2006 “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, Grammy-winning R&B singer Patti Austin, a capella group Five O’Clock Shadow, the Boston Arts Academy, and the Boston Pops Gospel Choir, with a special appearance by Pops conductor Keith Lockhart.
Though the temperature was a brisk 38 degrees, one less than the number of years Boston has been holding its annual tree lighting ceremony on Boston Common, people still turned out in the hundreds to see the 50-foot white spruce decked out for the holidays. Attendees were also treated to goodies at the Boston Common Tree Lighting Sampling Village, where tents and vans handed out free samples of Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate, Nantucket Nectars juices, Hood egg nog, and more.
The tree was donated by Gary and Roseann Meisner of North Alton, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and selected by Ross Pentz of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources. Nova Scotia sends a tree to Boston each year as a thank-you for the help the city provided after the explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax Harbor on December 6, 1917.
McPhee performed two songs off of her recently released third studio album, the holiday-themed Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You, which was released in October. The singer first appeared on season 5 of “American Idol,” placing runner-up to winner Taylor Hicks. She’s also tried her hand at acting, making her debut in 2008′s The House Bunny, with What’s Your Number star, Anna Faris.
Check out video of Katharine McPhee performing a holiday favorite below!