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Holiday Festival in Philly; 5 Weeks of Free Fun

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Philadelphia, PA (December 2018)(CNBNewsnet) – Mayor Jim Kenney kicked off the holiday season in Philadelphia by announcing details of the third annual Philly Holiday Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 11.39.28 Festival presented by One Liberty Observation Deck. The festival officially begins with the 6abc/Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 22 and continues through the annual SugarHouse Casino Mummers Day Parade on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, January 1, 2019. Throughout the festival’s five-week run, residents and visitors including The Philly Holiday Tree — powered by NRG at Philadelphia’s City Hall.

A complete festival schedule and details of all events can be found at phillyholidayfestival.com.

City Hall will be transformed into The Met Holiday Plaza where a dynamic new concert-style light display and a brand new third tier on the one-of-a-kind tree base will add dazzle to the spectacular 65-foot tall holiday tree powered by NRG. Visitors to The Met Holiday Plaza can warm up in the Craft Hall pop-up restaurant and indulge in seasonally inspired food, wines, hot cocktails and local beers.  New this year is ACME Winter Memories powered by Inspire in the City Hall Courtyard featuring an updated carousel and live weekend performances in December. The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink presented by TD Bank returns to Dilworth Park.

NEW THIS YEAR:

  • The Philly Holiday Tree — powered by NRG — will be displayed prominently at the front door of City Hall at JFK Boulevard and North Broad Street at the newly named The Met Holiday Plaza boasting a majestic display of lights celebrating the city’s skyline and neighborhoods — perfect for that family photo-op.
  • ACME Winter Memories powered by Inspire at the City Hall Courtyard offers “Santa’s Secret Scavenger Hunt,” illuminated trees and tents featuring vendors with unique gifts, a carousel, live entertainment and other family-friendly activities.
  • Resolutions at Capriccio Café and Bar in Cret Park presented by CHASE features Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, Tito’s Handmade Vodka & Sam Adams. Guests can enjoy the views of Cret Park and mark their New Year’s Resolution on the Orangetheory Fitness Resolutions Wall.
  • FREE Philly Holiday Festival Shuttle courtesy of VISIT PHILADELPHIA® and serviced by PHLASH will offer an expanded holiday attraction loop and will circulate from Thursday- Sunday between the hours of 6-9 p.m. starting Friday, November 23- Sunday, December 30.
  • Give back this season with Philly Holiday Festival’s new Text to Donate Books for Kids presented by Bank of America campaign.

SPONSORS MAKE IT ALL FREE!
The Philly Holiday Festival presented by One Liberty Observation Deck is produced in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, Welcome America, Inc. and VISIT PHILADELPHIA, with media partner 6abc, and supported by sponsors including: NRG, Wawa, CHASE, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Titos Handmade Vodka, Sam Adams, Orangetheory Fitness, ACME Markets, Inspire, The Met Philadelphia, Live Nation Philadelphia, Bank of America, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, T-Mobile, Walnut Street Theater, Radio One, GEICO, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kindy’s Christmas Factory Outlet,  Proof Productions Inc., Sautter Crane Rental and the Philadelphia Building Trades, IBEW Local 98 and ITASE 8.

6abc COVERAGE
6abc plans for comprehensive live coverage of all the key happenings at the Philly Holiday Festival.  From the kickoff of the Rink opening on the 9th of November, to the exciting light show kick off on the 15th, to the dazzling tree lighting spectacular on the 28th, Action News crews will be there to cover it all.

DETAILS ON THE 16 EVENTS

City of Philadelphia Official Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration presented by Bank of America
This magical holiday event at The Met Holiday Plaza, City Hall and North Broad Streets, will feature live entertainment, a dedication ceremony, and a few surprises. Wednesday, November 28 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

NEW! Text to Donate Books for Kids Presented by Bank of America
Give the gift of books to promote literacy in Philadelphia by participating in the first Philly Holiday Festival “text to donate” campaign. Text “Book” to 20222 to donate $5 to purchase four books for children.  Monday, November 12, 2018 – Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

A Very Philadelphia Holiday at One Liberty Observation Deck
A Very Philadelphia Holiday returns to One Liberty Observation Deck with decorative displays honoring some of Philly’s most beloved holiday traditions. Along with stunning 360-degree views of historic Philadelphia, explore the dazzling lights of the Miracle on South 13th Street along with the elaborate costumes and history of The Nutcracker Ballet and Mummer’s Parade, all without leaving the building. Dash, dance, or prance your way up to the 57th floor for the jolliest views in the city and plenty of photo ops ready to snap and share. Wednesday, November 21-Friday, January 4.

To celebrate One Liberty Observation Decks’ 3rd Anniversary and to kick off the holiday season, One Liberty Observation Deck is offering guests a “Pay What You Wish” option to visit the observation deck on November 28. A portion of the proceeds from the day will be donated to Philabundance in support of their mission to drive hunger from our communities this holiday season. Wednesday, November 28th from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

NEW! ACME Winter Memories in the City Hall Courtyard powered by Inspire
Strolling through the historic portals of Philadelphia’s City Hall, visitors will experience a winter wonderland themed courtyard with a magical carousel. Kids can enjoy the ACME Santa’s Secret Scavenger Hunt and all will enjoy the courtyard’s illuminated trees and tents featuring vendors with unique gifts perfect for holiday giving. On weekends, local musicians including Alex and the Kaleidoscope, Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble, Babel Poetry Collective, Dan Blacksburg, DivaNation, Emmanuel Ohemenga, Lena Shtefan, Maya Simone, Sistahs Attune, Temple Owl Cappela, and the beloved Philly Pops, will take the stage to the sounds of the holidays. Local artists Al Bustan Seeds of Culture, Portside Arts Center, University City Arts League and The Clay Studio, will also be on site with various arts and crafts and activities for the whole family to enjoy.  Thursday, November 22- Monday, December 24, with a preview weekend on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18.

Craft Hall Pop-Up Restaurant at City Hall
Back for a second season, Philadelphians can enjoy another special holiday preview of Craft Hall, an upcoming FCM Hospitality Venue, in the form of a pop-up restaurant on The Met Holiday Plaza at City Hall, alongside the Philly Holiday Tree powered by NRG. The Craft Hall Pop-Up restaurant will be open for full food and beverage service seven days a week from 12pm-9pm from Friday, November 23 – Sunday, December 23.

NEW! Resolutions at Capriccio Café and Bar in Cret Park presented by CHASE
Party like it’s 2019 all season long! Start the celebrations early with this New Year’s themed pop-up experience. Come in for insta-worthy photo opportunities courtesy of CHASE. Sip on Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, try one of Tito’s Handmade Vodka specialty cocktails or Sam Adams seasonal brews. Celebrate a new year, a new you with friends and family at Resolutions and set your 2019 New Year’s resolutions at the Orangetheory Fitness #goals wall. Join us at one of the many festive events happening this holiday season at Resolutions:

  • Daily 5-7pm – Happy Hour specials.
  • November 28th – Barefoot Wine & Bubbly Tasting following the Philly Holiday Tree Lighting
  • Quizzo – Wednesdays December 5, 12 & 19 at 7pm

CHASE cardmembers will enjoy special discounts and perks all month long. For the complete schedule of events, visit phillyholidayfestival.com/event/resolutions. Wednesday, November 21- Tuesday, January 1

Philly Holiday Festival Shuttle Courtesy of VISIT PHILADELPHIA® and serviced by PHLASH
Starting November 23, the PHLASH Holiday Shuttle, courtesy of VISIT PHILADELPHIA® and serviced by PHLASH, will provide evening transportation to signature Philadelphia Holiday Festival events including those at City Hall, Winterfest and the Blue Cross RiverRink at Penn’s Landing, Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE, Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by Bank of America at LOVE Park, Comcast Center Holiday Light Show, Avenue of the Arts performances, Macy’s Holiday Light Show and other Philadelphia holiday attractions. Buses run every 15 minutes from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, November 23- Sunday, December 30.

PHILLY HOLIDAY FESTIVAL 2019 SIGNATURE EVENT HIGHLIGHTS:
*In order of date

Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and Cabin Presented by TD Bank at Dilworth Park
The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin presented by TD Bank are back for another season of winter fun at Dilworth Park. The Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink at Dilworth Park is an unparalleled entertainment experience on Philadelphia’s center stage in a wonderfully urban and unique setting. Open seven days a week, November 9, 2018-February 24, 2019, the rink offers wintry fun for all ages, with a full slate of programing and activations. Cozy up in the cabin with warm cocktails like spiked hot chocolate or festive drinks featuring Maker’s Mark, along with craft beers from Victory Brewing and Stella Artois, experience the crisp air out on the ice skating rink, or enjoy the Deck the Hall Light Show presented by Independence Blue Cross at City Hall. Friday, November 9- Sunday, February 24. 

Franklin Square Holiday Festival presented by CHASE featuring Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show powered by PECO It’s sparkle time at Franklin Square for the 2018 Franklin Square Holiday Festival, including a winter beer garden with fire pits for warmth and char and Ben’s Sweets & Treats where guests can create and taste a variety of treats inside the heated tent with views of the Square. Dazzle in the lights of the Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO and celebrate the holiday season with Santa Saturdays, #FranklinSquareFridays, Seasonal Sounds on Sundays, and Lightning Bolt Holiday Express train rides around the Square.

CHASE cardmembers will enjoy special discounts and perks throughout the festival. Thursday, November 15- Monday, December 31.

Deck the Hall Light Show presented by Independence Blue Cross
Center City District in collaboration with 6abc bring City Hall to life with the sights and sounds of the holiday season with the second annual “Deck the Hall Light Show” presented by Independence Blue Cross. This choreographed light show, synchronized with holiday music, will be projected nightly on the west façade of Philadelphia’s historic City Hall. This magnificent light show, viewed from Dilworth Park, is sure to make your holidays bright! Monday, November 19- Tuesday, January 1.

6abc/Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade
The 99th annual 6abc/Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade is Philadelphia’s #1 family tradition and the longest running Thanksgiving Day Parade in America. This year’s parade features 17 marching bands from across the nation, as well as 17 floats, 29 performances, and fan favorites from music, stage and screen. Special guests will include Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as well as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus! Take part in the tradition of the 6abc/Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade, and make memories in Thanksgiving Day Zone, presented by American Heritage; an open-air festival at Eakins Oval. The parade will air on 6abc and will be streaming live on 6abc.com. It will also be televised on the follow ABC stations: WATM-TV, WJET-TV, TVD-TV, WSWB-TV, WBOC-TV, WJLA-TV, WTXL-TV, and WAYMY-TV. Thursday, November 22, 8:30am-12:00pm

Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by Bank of America
The Christmas Village returns to LOVE Park! Modeled after traditional European open-air Christmas markets, Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by Bank of America at LOVE Park, offers international gifts and high-quality items alongside festive treats like German bratwurst, schnitzel, raclette cheese, warm waffles, gingerbread and mulled wine. In addition to serving as an outdoor shopping center with more than 80 vendors displaying their products in wooden huts, Christmas Village in Philadelphia offers beautiful decorations and photo opportunities, street-side performances, festive music, themed weekends and special events – such as the German American weekend and wine and beer tastings– to create an inviting holiday setting.

New during Christmas Village, guests can enjoy The Present, a glowing, 27-foot-tall, walk-through holiday gift box, featuring a 4-foot decorative bow and 24,500 linear feet of red and white LED lights. While visiting this new “gift that keeps on giving,” guests can text to donate to one of these causes and leave a message of love with gift tags inside:

  • Bank of America: books for kids in Philadelphia Parks & Recreation programs
  • Fairmount Park Conservancy: capital projects, preservation, and programming in Philadelphia parks
  • Project HOME: empowering individuals facing homelessness and poverty

The Present is provided by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. For more information, follow #lovepark. Christmas Village is open Thursday, November 22- Monday, December 24, with a preview weekend on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18.

Comcast Holiday Spectacular
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular, a must-see Philadelphia holiday tradition, treats people of all ages to a free viewing experience celebrating the holiday season and create yuletide memories. The 15-minute show features renditions of Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, The Twelve Days of Christmas and performances by the renowned Pennsylvania Ballet. A magic flying sleigh ride through the Pennsylvania countryside and above the city of Philadelphia is breathtaking, and audience members are invited to take part in a festive sing-along. The Comcast Holiday Spectacular appears on the 83’ x 25’ Comcast Experience video wall in the Comcast Center lobby, which is one of world’s largest highest resolution LED displays. Thursday, November 22- Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

Free Holiday Parking
Once again, the Philadelphia Parking Authority will offer free on-street meter parking on Saturdays after 11 am from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. In addition, holiday rates at PPA garages will be a flat $8 fee on Saturdays and Sundays entering after 11 a.m. and exiting by midnight Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Thursday, November 22- Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest at Penn’s Landing
This year, Blue Cross RiverRink marks its silver anniversary and celebrates 25 years in partnership with Independence Blue Cross. Philadelphia’s largest outdoor ice skating rink and winter wonderland, returns to the Delaware River waterfront on Friday, November 23. The seasonal winter park, presented by Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) and founding sponsor Independence Blue Cross, includes a beautifully lit landscape featuring a majestic holiday tree, outdoor seating area with fire pits, cozy warming cabins, The Franklin Fountain Confectionary Cabin, the Kids Lodge with arcade games, and a chalet-inspired Lodge with food and beverages from Garces and Chickie’s and Pete’s.  Friday, November 23- Monday, March 4.

Macy’s Light Show
A perfect family outing, the Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert at Macy’s is a Philadelphia holiday tradition that dates back more than half a century. Visit the famous Center City store, housed in the historic Wanamaker Building where snowflakes, ballerinas and reindeer all made from more than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights float four-stories –high in the Grand Court atrium. Friday, November 23-Monday, December 31.

Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market at Dilworth Park Sponsored by 101.1 MORE FM
The Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market sponsored by 101.1 MORE FM will once again transform Dilworth Park into a winter wonderland with more than 40 local artisans, designers, crafters and confectionaries offering unique selections of gifts and holiday treats. in white, festively-lit tents topped with original Herrnhut Stars.Friday, November 23- Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

Santa Express Produced by SEPTA and Center City District, Sponsored by Keller’s Creamery
Santa Claus is comin’ to the Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink and he’s taking SEPTA to get there. Board specially decorated SEPTA trains filled with entertainment for a fun-filled holiday ride. Visit SEPTAPHILLY.COM for train times and stations. A festive parade will welcome Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves to the ice rink, where riders are invited to stay and skate with Santa. Don’t miss the special cookie decorating station from Keller’s Creamery. Friday, November 23, 10:30am-12:00pm

The Christmas Tree Stand Holiday Market at Cherry Street Pier
The Christmas Tree Stand will be on-site at Cherry Street Pier daily starting on Black Friday. Stop by the Pier to shop for trees, greens, ornaments, and holiday decorations. Trees are available for purchase on-site and can be brought home that day or delivered. Trees are also available for order online. Friday, November 23- Monday, December 24.

Betsy Ross House Tree Lighting
Kick-off the holiday season in Old City, Philadelphia at the Betsy Ross House Tree Lighting at the Betsy Ross House Courtyard (239 Arch Street). The ceremony will feature Betsy Ross, musical performances, seasonal sips and bites, and a holiday tree designed by Old City’s Petit Jardin en Ville! Thursday, November 29 at 5:00pm

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Tree Lighting powered by PECO
Join Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest, and an entire cast of performers, singers, dancers, and ice skaters for a night of free entertainment to usher in the holiday season. Be dazzled as the rink lights up one of the city’s largest holiday trees with tens of thousands of lights thanks to PECO. The lighting of the majestic holiday tree will be followed by a special fireworks send-off to help get Santa back to the North Pole. Friday, November 30 at 5:30pm.

A Very Philly Christmas in Fairmount Park
“Christmas in Fairmount Park” celebrates its 47th year of delighting visitors with decked halls at five of the park’s historic houses: Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill Mansion, Lemon Hill Mansion, Historic Strawberry Mansion, and Woodford Mansion. Expanding on this tradition, Fairmount Park Conservancy and its partners will present the third annual, “A Very Philly Christmas” – four special days showcasing what makes Philadelphia a very special place: music, food, neighbors, and families. Saturday, December 1-Friday, December 21.

Boathouse Row Holiday Lights
One of Philadelphia’s most memorable nighttime vistas is Boathouse Row. Comprised of a dozen sculling clubs on the banks of the Schuylkill River behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the boat houses twinkle lights that dance off the river’s reflection. Get the best views from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive or around the Philadelphia Museum of Art for insta-worthy photos. The holiday lights will celebrate Hanukkah (December 2 – 9), Christmas (December 21 – 25) and Kwanzaa (December 26 – 31). Sunday, December 2- Monday, December 31.

SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront
Since 1991, Philadelphia has celebrated the New Year with a huge fireworks display over the Delaware River Waterfront. For the past nine years, residents and visitors have enjoyed two fireworks shows, and will do so again this year thanks to the continued support of SugarHouse Casino. The SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront will be THE place to ring in the New Year with two dazzling fireworks shows synchronized to an official musical soundtrack on KYW Newsradio at 6 p.m. and midnight.  Monday, December 31, 2018.

2019 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade
New Year’s Day is about celebrating and in Philadelphia that means the Mummers Parade. During the festive, 119-year-old tradition, 10,000 men, women and children dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut down one of the city’s main streets. Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

A full calendar of events and details on tree lightings around the city are available at phillyholidayfestival.com, visitphilly.com and 6abc.com.

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