Boston's official Christmas tree stops in Hampden on way from Nova Scotia

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Hampden, Maine (WABI) - In 1917 a ship filled with explosives in Halifax Harbor caught fire. The resulting explosion killed nearly 2,000 people and injured thousands more.

It was the largest man-made explosion prior to the invention of atomic bombs.

People from Massachusetts, Maine, and other New England states rushed to the stricken city of Halifax to provide aid.

The following year, the people of Nova Scotia sent a Christmas tree to Boston as thanks.

The practice was revived in 1971 and continues to this day.

This year's tree made a pit stop at the Weatherbee School in Hampden.

A 60 year old white spruce, the tree stands 45 feet tall and weighs six thousand pounds.

The students learned about the history of the tree and wished it well on its journey.

Sheldon Garland and David MacFarlane, employees with the Nova Scotia DOT, are tasked with hauling the tree to Boston.

"The closer I get to Boston with the tree and in Massachusetts a lot of people wave and blowing their horns." said MacFarlane. "They're excited to see it coming. They know it's their tree and the significance behind it all."

The tree is scheduled to arrive at Boston Common in time for the official tree lighting ceremony on December 5th.