|Christmas tree at The Shops at Liberty Place in Philadelphia|
Nothing kicks off December’s holiday season better than a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. These events are nearly as much fun as spiking eggnog with brandy, and far less filling. This week Philadelphia’s evergreens will have their lights strung and their balls hung, often with a visit from Santa Claus to boot. In Center City, The Shops at Liberty Place and The Friends of Rittenhouse Square will both flip the switch on Tuesday, December 3; Mayor Michael Nutter and his wife will be on hand at Love Park for the city's official tree lighting on December 4; South Philly's East Passyunk Avenue will deck the halls on December 5; and the South Street Headhouse District will light their tree during their Winter Wonderland event on December 8.
For their first annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, The Shops at Liberty Place, Center City’s grandest mall at 1625 Chestnut Street, is living large this season. Calling its tree the tallest of all being lit in Philly this year (44 feet high), the event on Tuesday, December 3 at 6 PM features food and drinks from Liberty Place’s neighbor R2L, an arts-and-crafts table set up by the Philly Arts Center for children to make holiday tchotchkes, as well as live performances from the Philadelphia Dance Academy and the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. At 7 PM, Santa Claus does the honors of lighting the tree, after which he’ll make himself available for photos. You go, Santa.
A little bit earlier on Tuesday, December 3 (5 PM to be exact), the Friends of Rittenhouse Square and the business operators along Rittenhouse Row host their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony in the center of the park. Later this week – Saturday, December 7 – the shops along Rittenhouse Row will offer special deals for holiday savings - for a list of offers, check RittenhouseRow.org.
On Wednesday, December 4 at 5 PM, Mayor Michael Nutter and his wife, Lisa, will be on-hand at 1500 Arch Street (across the street from City Hall) to light Philadelphia's official tree at Love Park's Christmas Village. Sixty-plus vendors will line the Christmas Village with everything from handmade gifts items to snacks – it opened on November 28 and runs through January 1, 2014. For info and hours go to PhilaChristmas.com.
On Thursday, December 5 at 5 PM, another of our city's prime shopping and dining districts – East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly – hosts its own Christmas tree lighting event and interactive “Deck the Ave” kick-off ceremony with participating restaurants and retailers offering bargains and extended hours that same night. Along with a special Nordic holiday “Kabritu Stoba” (whole braised goat) prepared by Chef Joncarl Lachman of NOORD and served near the Christmas tree at the Singing Fountain, there will be carolers from Alphabet Academy, music by the students of Andrew Jackson School, speeches from Pennsylvania State Senator Larry Farnese and Philadelphia Councilman Mark Squilla (amongst others), and a Santa Claus to light the tree at 7 PM.
On Sunday, December 8 at 4 PM, Philly's famous South Street Headhouse District will light their tree at their annual Winter Wonderland extravaganza at the Historic Headhouse Square Shambles on 2nd Street (200 Pine Street). The festivities include a visit from Santa, free horse-drawn carriage rides, performances by Philadelphia Dance Academy and Society Hill Dance Academy, and holiday shopping organized by the Philadelphia Open Air Market (PHAIR). During the event, the winners of the "Window Wonderland Storefront Challenge" will be announced; the competition features holiday displays from 31 businesses, and will be judged my local celebs and media, including Glamorosi Magazine's husband and wife team, A.D. Amorosi and Glamorosi.
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Photo courtesy of The Shops at Liberty Place
Posted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013