Christmas in Philly

Philly To Do, Uncategorized

Photos: Scenes from the 2021 Philadelphia Christmas Tree Lighting

Last night was one of the first big events the City (in person) has held since the pandemic. With socially distancing in mind, the City closed streets on the north side of City Hall, so folks could spread out as they choose. AND IT WAS FABULOUS. I’ve experienced the tree lighting for many years, in City Hall Courtyard, at Love Park, on the West side of City Hall and now a few times on the North side, always kinda tight because the lighting of the tree is like watching fireworks but you can be close. The production was great, this year they had a sponsor, friends section to the left of the staging area, and Philadelphians still had the best viewing spot in front of the stage, spread out along the street, and at the elevated MSB plaza.

The MSB area was sponsor village, where guests enjoyed giveaways from generous sponsors, including Boston Market, (they had a cool photo booth) Wawa (I had a few too many cookies) , Primark had a spin the wheel where guests could win pens, stickers, ear buds or a tote bag, HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD gave out kisses,

NRG gave out really cute lit Santa hats *BTW the holiday tree is powered by NRG., aren’t those hats cute?

The folks behind the scenes – Brenda Goldsmith, hands on producer of Philly Holidays, as well as so many parades and activations in the country, Sheila Hess, City Representative who’s office produced the tree lighting and Michael DelBene, President & Chief Executive of Wawa Welcome America and Philly Holidays. 2nd photo Robert Nonemacker, City Reps Office, Events and Special Projects Manager

Thanks for posing for me!!
Cashman & Associates helping out Primark

Then on Saturday December 4, 2021: It’s the

Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade

The Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade is perfect event for all Philadelphians looking for some holiday cheer! This inclusive parade will feature floats representing Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, and Christmas, with performances by local marching bands, cold air balloons of your favorite holiday characters, and much more. The parade starts in Old City at 2nd and Market, and goes towards City Hall. Any spot is a great spot to watch from, but definite stop by Primark, do some early shopping, enjoy music spinning by DJ, and take a chance on winning gift cards for shopping at Primark. Look out for the Boston Market Unity Float, and for moi as I will be giving out $5 off Boston Market coupons for use in their stores in our area. Give me a shout out and I’ll take your photo and you might see if here, or in my column at CBSPhilly.


Best Holiday Lights to See While Socially Distancing

While some Christmas attractions may be closed this year, and others might be questionable with their socially distancing, you can still enjoy the holiday spirit by participating in something I do even in non pandemic years, driving or walking by fantastic holiday light displays. Here are a few of my favorite. The best part of this tour, it’s free or for a suggested donation, and can be done at your own pace, all in one night or split up before Christmas.

Smedley Street in South Philly I love traveling through the neighborhoods to see holiday lights, and I really love when entire neighborhoods work together to create a winter wonderland of memories like Smedley Street in South Philly. Not only is the overall display fantastic, you also get the feels of a great South Philly neighborhood with cars packed in, and every house lit in unison. I bet they have great block parties. You can drive through this display, but also find parking nearby and walk through the display. This year they have a Venmo ask, and if you can spare a few bucks to help out with the electricity that’d be great. There’s a sign on the right as you leave.
It’s between 16th and 17th, and Moyamensing and Oregon avenues.

East Passyunk Ave: After Smedley Street head back to Broad Street and make a right on East Passyunk Avenue. Over the past year they’ve lit the street up with colorful lights, which reflect the seasons. The twinkling lights will brighten everyone’s holidays. Head down to Moore and make a right, then make a right onto 13th Street to our next destination.

One of the most anticipated light shows every year is The Miracle on South 13th Street. It’s a block long fantastical display of lights overhead, as well as neighborly holiday scenes in front of private homes. Drive through, or park and enjoy the displays up close, but remember these are private homes so no sitting on stoops or late night visits MAP

9th Street Italian Market: Make a right on Dickenson and then a left on East Passyunk towards the very lit Geno’s and Pat’s continue on past Rim Cafe, stop by and say hi to Rene and Belle and pick up a canoli.
Stop By Piazza Di Bruno’s Holiday Market
Continue on through the Italian Market down 9th Street,

don’t forget to look down the side streets for surprises.

When you get to Washington Ave., go left to Broad Street, then make a right towards City Hall.

Swing by City Hall and check out the Holiday tree on the North Side.

On the West side is DECK THE HALL HOLIDAY LIGHTS which starts everyday at 5pm and runs continuously to 9pm. In non pandemic years you would gather to watch the show every half hour, but in these times a slow drive by is all you need to appreciate the holiday lights.

Continue on JFK to 19th Street to Rittenhouse Square which is holiday eye candy.

Rittenhouse Hotel
Head around the square, driving down Pine Street towards 7th Street and Jewelers Row, head to 9th Street and make a right

on Market Street to 2nd Street, make a left on Chestnut Street

heading towards Penns Landing where you can see the spectacular lights of the Visit Philly Ferris Wheel and the
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest