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Holiday celebrations begin at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest with the flip of a switch and won’t end until after the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront

PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 1, 2015): On Friday, December 4th, Santa and a full processional will illuminate the 40,000 lights covering one of Philadelphia’s largest holiday trees during the Holiday Tree Lighting Presented by PECO. This marks the beginning of the holiday season at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, which will end as the last fireworks from the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront are shot into the air.

 Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest continues to be one of Philadelphia’s favorite holiday and winter activities, and this season will be no different. The Holiday Tree Lighting Presented by PECO is an evening chock full of performances by ice skaters, carolers, dancers, singers and more, and best of all, it’s FREE (ice skating admission is additional).

The night starts at 6:40PM with performances by Philadelphia Symmetry Ice Dancers from the Wissahickon Skate Club, and Shay Sterlace and Yovanny Durango, 2015 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Dance Champions, and teen opera sensation Arielle Baril, featured on America’s Got Talent. The Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir, recently seen singing for Pope Francis during the Meeting of Families, will fill the stage with dozens of young singers performing holiday classics. Other musical acts include the Chamber Strings from Philadelphia’s String Theory High School, In the Mix A Capella, local gospel and soul singer Eric Gambre’ll and, of course, Elaine Chez, performing Santa Baby as Marilyn Monroe.

The lighting of the holiday tree will be the finale to the night, and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is proud to work with PECO again for this event. For more than 20 years, PECO has proudly supported DRWC’s events and programs such as the PECO Multicultural Series. This year’s sponsorship of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest expands PECO’s support of DRWC’s innovative programming, helping keep the season warm and bright for families in the Greater Philadelphia region.

 The tree lighting processional will include Santa and a band of elves, Sixers’ star Robert Covington, Franklin from the Sixers, the Blue Cross RiverRink Mascot Rinky, and an Eagles drum line. After turning on the 6-ft switch, the tree will be illuminated with 40,000 lights, making it one of the centerpieces of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest.

 If that isn’t enough, the night will also feature ambient entertainment and make and take activities. Arden Theater Company will be doing on-site make and takes and giveaways to celebrate their newest play, Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. Note that tickets from the rink presented to Arden Theater Company are valid for discounts and vice versa. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts will be creating stockings filled with candy and ornaments while supplies last, and Old Time Carolers will be singing throughout the Lodge.

 This beautiful site will be made even better by PNC’s Gingerbread Branch, located at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest from December 4-6th. Notes PNC rep Jean Canfield, “Nestled snug among the sights and sounds of the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, the PNC Gingerbread Branch—made of actual gingerbread—is a fun, seasonal addition to the community celebration of the holiday season at Penn’s Landing. Where else can you tour an operating gingerbread bank branch and even learn about the true cost of Christmas through the PNC Christmas Price Index?”

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest’s season continues through February 28, 2016, with extended hours from December 19 – January 3rd. Tons of activities mark the calendar, making this site one of Philadelphia’s best winter traditions.


Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Holiday Tree Lighting

Start the holiday season with a huge tree lighting consisting of a full night of stage entertainment, make and take crafts,         and the PNC Gingerbread Branch activation—an operational bank branch made of real gingerbread, frosting and candy!



Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, 101 S. Columbus Boulevard on the Delaware River.



Friday, December 4th, 6-9PM