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ChitChat: Thanuja Hamilton, CLIP, Lesley Van Arsdall, Janet Jackson

Remember to clean off your car before driving.

Hello readers, I hope you’re well. Hello new readers too, thank you so much for following me. I see I have over 100 new followers in January. In December I added this link to my instagram and it’s been very useful for followers to find my blog. So I receomend it. linktr.ee/Hughedillon

A few weeks ago I saw workers cleaning up graffiti along 19th Street. I asked the man about this program and he told me it was called CLIP. Community Life Improvement Program

The Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP) helps Philadelphians make the City a nicer place to live. As part of this mission, we:

  • Remove graffiti vandalism from buildings, street signs, and other street fixtures.
  • Enforce the City’s regulations to make sure vacant lots and areas are kept clean.
  • Lend supplies and offer trash pickup for CLIP-coordinated neighborhood cleanups.
  • Provide adult non-violent offenders the opportunity to complete their community service sentences by cleaning and beautifying the city.

To utilize this service call 311

Tune IN: Dr. Thanuja Hamilton is making her debut on the Nick Cannon Show tomorrow on Fox29 at NOON. She gets in bed with Nick and gives him advice on how to get the best sleep.

Congratulations to Lesley Van Arsdall, former sports reporter on CBSPhilly has co written a book with former Eagles player Brian Westbrook. They revealed the children’s book cover earlier this month, which will debut in June,

Last Saturday night Jerry Blavat and Friends entertained friends and fans at the Kimmel Center located on the Kimmel Cultural Campus. It was a fantastic night of entertainment with legendary stars. Check out Metro Philly and CBSPhilly for more photos and story.

We all headed to the Ritz afterwards, where I ran into Andy Cosenza and friends, including his bestie Alexis Lord, Flyers Dance Team.

New Tune: A new show hosted by Jimmy Fallon called “That’s My Jam”; an hour long music and comedy variety game show featuring teams of celebrities that include T-Pain, Normani, Bebe Rexa, Chance The Rapper, Kelly Clarkson and more. Think of it kind of like celebrity karaoke. House DJ is Philly’s DJ Aktive, notable for being a tour DJ, one who gets the crowd fired up at concerts, he goes on for who spins for Patti LaBelle, Common, Diddy and Janet Jackson.

Speaking of DJ Aktive, he’s hosting a a gig on his Instagram tomorrow 1/28 right before the anticipated Documentary “Janet Jackson” debuts on Lifetime. “Let’s party on my IG 12pm EST and give the Queen her flowers” Link Thanks so much for tuning in. Chit Chat tomorrow…

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The Rounds, Dr Oz Spotted, Mandarin Duck, Kids Get Vaccinated at the Zoo

Earlier this week I had a moment to go to Pennypack Park in NE Philly to check out the Mandarin Duck which has called the creek home for a few weeks. You can find him, and his girlfriend swimming near the dam not too far from the environmental center.

6 days til Christmas. Social Season 2021 has ended. I was so busy this fall. Thanks to Kory Aversa who hired me at least twice a week, sometimes twice a day to photograph his client events. Thanks to other PR companies like Cashman & Assoc., Philly PR Girl, Punch Media, En Route for the multiple events as well.

Very thankful for CBSPhilly, Metro Philly, Philadelphia Tribune, Mainline Today, Philly Style for our media partnership. Thank you Philly Mag for leaving my name on the masthead, I hope that column goes live this year. I sure miss it. In 2021 I will be adding another outlet, but am not able to say what it is yet.

Earlier this week @DrOz stopped by the Snider’s Main Line home for a fundraiser. Oz is running for the seat soon to be vacated by Sen Toomey. (photo provided)

A new Philly-based startup is making sustainability a forefront idea in every household. The Rounds is a no-waste delivery service that refills your staple home goods — from pantry items to cleaning and paper products — on a recurring basis for a low cost. The team was out in Rittenhouse Square on Friday handing out gift cards to use their service, from $5 off to $500 off. Head over to Philly Mag for a great interview with the founders.

A Giant Week – Photos provided

Left –  The GIANT Company opened its fourth GIANT Heirloom Market™ in Philadelphia’s Fashion District, capping off a tremendous year of growth in the city for 2021. The grand opening event included a ribbon-cutting and remarks by The GIANT Company President Nicholas Bertram, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Councilman Mark Squilla.

The store, located at 801 Market Street, is accessible from inside the mall as well as Market Street, and features local produce, a large plant-based department, a self-serve tap wall with more than 30 selections, a Starbucks, and a Hissho sushi bar.

Right – The GIANT Company and Please Touch Museum (PTM) officially opened Food & Family, the fully reimagined and much beloved Market exhibit in Philadelphia’s iconic children’s museum. Inspired by The GIANT
Company’s For Today’s Table® brand platform, Food & Family celebrates families gathering
around the table to enjoy a meal and connect in meaningful ways. This $1.2 million
investment by The GIANT Company not only transforms the 3,650 sq. foot exhibit itself, but it
expands the learning opportunities in the space, allowing families visiting PTM to explore
where food comes from, how to prepare and share food, and how food connects people and
communities.

Another Philly Mural’s days are numbered. In early 2016 Powers’ created, Philadelphia, in Old City. There are tons of great Philly references woven into this piece, encompassing everything from art to food to music. Philadelphia became an instant classic on an iconic commercial corridor. Seems a building is to be built in the parking lot adjacent to the 2nd Street mural in Old City. Construction fences have been installed, but the mural is still intact.

Joan Myers Brown, the founder of Philadanco and Ivory Allison, President, Board of Directors at ‘Fast Forward… To The Future’ at the Kimmel Cultural Campus Friday December 10

Philadanco celebrated it’s illustrious 50-year history Friday night. “Fast forward (0 to 90 in 50+1 years)” included an opening night affair at the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Kimmel Center. Check out more of the story and photos
on Philadelphia Tribune.

Another Center City Wawa closes. This one at 13th and Chestnut, in Midtown Village. There was definitely an over use issue with this one, which is located a block away from another one which closed last year at Broad & Walnut Streets. The next closest ones are at 12th and Market Streets and the mini one at 33 S 16th Street.

Who knew Peacocks can fly. I spotted this one high in a tree at the Philly Zoo earlier this week when I attended the Philadelphia Zoo Hosts Free Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic and Community Event at LumiNature sponsored by Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Zoo .

All photos taken with permission from parents

CBSPhilly More photos

Thanks to Boston Market and Christie Mandia, VP Marketing, for advertising with PCC, and having me photograph their activation and store openings this year!! Have you ordered you holiday meal yet, there is still time!!

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Scene: The Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade

Saturday night a new parade was held in Philadelphia to celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and the Chinese New Year.

‘The Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade,’ feature arts and culture groups from multicultural backgrounds. Floats, balloons, dance troupes, and several marching bands.

The parade kicked off at 2nd and Market Streets at 5PM.

The Primark store invited a few friends to ride on their Double Decker bus as it made it’s away along Market Street for the Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade.

Kids and adults lined the street, smiling, waving with joy. It was great to see, especially after what we’ve all been through.

The Unionville High School rendition of “The Grinch” was fantastic. I bet they put on a great school play too!!

Primark and Boston Market gave out goodies along the parade route.
A performance by Dance 4 Life, Wilmington De.

Who knew, Santa was legendary Phillies coach Charlie Manuel, they kept it secret so the kids…. Thank you to all those involved, it was a huge success, on a limited budget, which created priceless memories for kids and adults a like. A dream come true for years to come, a dream by Mayor Jim Kenney, who always wanted a lighted holiday parade, as some other cities have, but he really created one, uniquely Philly. Thanks to the City Rep’s office, Visit Philly, Cashman Pr, and especially the team from Welcome America who produced the event. Thanks to Boston Market and Primark for sponsoring me to photograph the parade.

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Don’t Miss It: City of Philadelphia Tree Lighting Ceremony Thursday & Saturday Holiday Parade

This year, the Holiday Tree Lighting is back in-person and better than ever. The city’s showstopping holiday tree, located on the Wawa Holiday Plaza on the north-side of City Hall, will be lit on Thursday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate the kick-off of the holiday season.

This year, viewers are encouraged to come out and be a part of one of the city’s most beloved holiday traditions in-person. The full event will also be exclusively broadcast live on 6abc. The in-person tree lighting ceremony, produced by the Office of City Representative, will feature performances by Philly-based artists and Disney’s premier a cappella singing sensation, DCappella.

BUT the nights events begin at 5PM where guests can enjoy giveaways from generous sponsors, including Bank of America, Wawa, NRG, Primark, HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD, Boston Market, Tastykake, and Books in Homes at the MSB Plaza across the street on on North Broad Street. The north side of City Hall will be closed. You’ll also be able to enjoy the Christmas Village Ferris Wheel, double decker Merry Go Round in City Hall Courtyard, as well as the shops Philly Made holiday shops on the west side of City Hall.

Then, beginning at 7:00 p.m., watch as dozens of hand-designed and painted ornaments and 5,000 linear feet of multi-color LED lights come to life on the 45-foot, 40-year-old tree. More Info Can Be Found HERE

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 Primal

What are the Covid-19 Protocols for the Holiday Events? 

Both the Tree Lighting and the Parade are outside this year, however we are expecting large crowds so we encourage everyone in attendance to bring a mask and maintain social distance when possible.  

What should I bring to these events? 

  • Children, Friends, Family
  • Blankets 
  • Winter wear (Hat, Coat, Gloves, Scarf, Hand Warmers)
  • Smiles,and be ready to create memories
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HOLIDAYS IN PHILLY Datebook

Mayor Jim Kenney, Sheila Hess, City Rep, Michael DelBene, President & CEO · Welcome America Inc. Robert Nonemacker Office of the City Representative and Kelly Lee, Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia.

Mayor Jim Kenney today announced details of this year’s new and improved Philly Holiday Experience presented by Independence Blue Cross. From mid-November through the New Year, families and visitors can enjoy a Ferris Wheel and holiday pop-upsat the Wawa Holiday Plaza, admire the VISIT PHILADELPHIA®Holiday Tree powered by NRG, preferred energy partner of the Philly Holiday Experience, attend the first annual VISIT PHILADELPHIA®Holiday Parade, and discover more new ways to celebrate the season throughout the city and region.

Mayor Jim Kenney, City of Philadelphia: “We are so excited to bring back The Philly Holiday Experience with in-person events, including the tree lighting ceremony and the new Visit Philadelphia Holiday Parade. Philadelphia is an amazing place full of tradition, and I can’t wait to see residentsand visitors enjoying the holidays throughout the city this year. These events showcase the spirit and diversity of our city, and we welcome everyone to come take part in both our returning traditions, as well as our new ones.”

Welcome America Team – Thanks for your work on putting smiles on Philadelphians

The city will kick off the most wonderful time of the year with an in-person tree lighting ceremony on Thursday, December 2 at 7:00 p.m. on the northside of City Hall. Guests are encouraged to come as early as 5:00 p.m. for free giveaways. The ceremony, featuring performances by local artists and Disney’s DCappella, is back in-person and better than ever after being held virtually last year due to pandemic safety concerns. The ceremony will also be broadcast live exclusively on 6abc.

The holiday programming continues Saturday, December 4 with the first VISIT PHILADELPHIA®Holiday Parade celebrating all winter holidays –Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa,and the Chinese New Year. The parade,kicking off at 5:00 p.m.at 2nd& Market Streetsand ending at City Hall,will feature cold air balloons, marching bands,floats, dance groups, and more.The parade will incorporate arts and culture organizations, reflecting the diversity of the city and all the different ways the holiday season is celebrated throughout Philadelphia. The parade is a must-see event to experience excitement, entertainment,and get in the holiday spirit. Parade goers are encouraged to enjoy the parade all along the Market Street route
Rachel Ferguson Visit Philadelphia Chief Innovation & Global Diversity Officer and Nicole A. Cashman is the Founder and CEO of Cashman & Associates – Thanks to Nicole and her team for preparing the following information about holiday happenings happening around town.

East Market: East Market, Center City’s urban lifestyle destination encompassing the entire block between Market and Chestnut, 11th and 12th streets, will transform into the ultimate holiday destination. This holiday season, East Market will become a magical winter wonderland as hundreds of LED lights come together with a 35-foot tree to create a synchronized, animated light show. Enjoy live music, festive décor, seasonal giveaways and food and drink options provided by East Market tenants. With a range of outdoor holiday activation’s, East Market has something for everyone this season. Follow @EastMarketPhl on social for updates. Thursdays – Sundays in December

Thanks to all the Sponsors of Philly Holidays

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS! The Philly Holiday Experience would not be possible without the support of our generous partners and sponsors, including the City of Philadelphia, Independence Blue Cross, 6abc, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®, NRG, Wawa, Bank of America, Boston Market, Primark, HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, Tastykake, Books in Homes USA, Christmas Village, SEPTA, Philadelphia Fire Department Foundation, Philly POPS, East Market, Media Copy, Kindy’sChristmas Factory Outlet, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Cashman & Associates, ChatterBlastMedia, Defy, Proof Productions, and Sautter Crane

This year Boston Market is a sponsor of the Holiday Tree and Parade…

Delaware River Waterfront Corporation: Celebrate the holiday season at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest’s Winter Wonderland on the Waterfront. Enjoy skating under the holiday lights, copying up in a festive cabin or by a fire pit, delicious eats, warm beverages and cocktails, and boardwalk rides and games.On December 3, gather your friends and family for the Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by PECO to kick-off the official launch of the holidays on the Philadelphia
Waterfront, complete with festive performances.
Location:101 S. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Dates: November 26 through March 6

Christmas Village: Returning for its 14th season, Christmas Village in Philadelphia will once again transform LOVE Park and City Hall (Courtyard and North Apron) into a traditional, open-air German Christmas Market, open daily between Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25th and Christmas Eve, Friday, December 24th, with a preview weekend planned for November 20 to 21, 2021.
New and returning for this year, Christmas Village will present an extra magical surprise with a double-tier Christmas Village carousel in the City Hall Courtyard, along with a brand-new German food court in the Courtyard. After taking a break last year due to the pandemic, the grand Ferris Wheel and the Kid’s Train will be back within the Wawa Holiday Plaza, along with vendors on the City Hall North Apron.Location:LOVE Park (1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102) and City HallDates:November 25–December 24;

Preview Weekend: November 20 &21,2021 Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11:00a.m.to 7:00p.m., Friday to Saturday: 11:00a.m.to 8:00p.m., Thanksgiving Day: 9:00a.m.to 5:00p.m.,Christmas Eve: 11:00a.m.to 5:00p.m.Special Events:o Willkommen Zurück(Welcome Back Ceremony)–Sunday, November28th at 3:00 p.m.

Family Day –Sunday, December 5oGerman American Weekend –Saturday, December11–Sunday, December12

Rivers Casino Fireworks on the Waterfront, presented by VISIT PHILADELPHIA®:OnNew Year’s Eve, the Blue Cross RiverRink WinterfestNew Year’s Eve Parties on Ice offers a front row view of the Rivers Casino New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, presented by VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. For many years, Philadelphians have come to enjoy two great New Year’s Eve fireworks displays over the Delaware River Waterfront thanks to Rivers Casino. There will be two additional shows this year as well –at 6 p.m. and midnight on NYE. And as a new addition this year, VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is also proudly presenting an additional New Year’s Day fireworks spectacular.Don’t miss any of the excitement including ice skating, music, and fantastic food and drink.This is a ticketed event. Tickets will be on-sale soon at RiverRink.com.

Mike Starck, VP and General Manager, NRG Retail East Division:“NRG is once again excited to join the City in welcoming the community to celebrate the magic of the holiday season together. With the return of the in-person Tree Lighting and the addition of a Holiday Parade, this year’s celebration will be bigger than ever and NRG invites everyone to take part.”

PHLASH: The Philly PHLASH Downtown Loop is the quick, easy,and inexpensive connection to key Philadelphia historic attractions and cultural institutions. ThePHLASH is currently running weekend service (Friday –Sunday) through December 26 and will then run daily service for the holidays from December 27 –30 (10a.m. –6 p.m.) No service on Christmas Day. PHLASH will also be running a holiday-centric route –a full-service route that stops at all the major holiday locations, including Penn’s Landing Winter Fest, LOVE Park for City Hall and Christmas Village, and more.Link to the route map

Cari Feiler Bender, Relief Communications, LLC and Laura Burkhardt, Executive Director · Avenue of the Arts, Inc.

Cari Feiler Bender represents and tells me that Historic Philadelphia, Inc.’s (HPI) Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle Light Show is back with new additions to the sparkling lights and winter magic from November through February in this beautiful public space. Visitors can celebrate the magic of the season both day and night in festive Franklin Square, with evening activities beginning at 5 pm each evening. Winter in Franklin Square presented by Citizens featuring the Electrical Spectacle Light Show presented by PECO will sparkle from November 18, 2021 – February 27, 2022. Franklin Square is open November 18 – February 27 daily (closed November 26, December 25, January 1), 10 am – 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10 am – 10 pm. The nighttime festivities run 5 – 9 pm daily, until 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, visit www.historicphiladelphia.org.

Christie Mandia, Boston Market and Dave Schrader, NRG Energy

Even before I was PhillyChitChat, I was a fan of all things celebrating Philly and putting smiles on the faces of Philadelphian’s by way of holiday happenings, parades etc. and attended as many as I could (now I get to do it with PhillyChitChat and share the experience with you) In the past 4 year I have been able to connect my clients like Boston Market and NRG Energy as sponsors for these events after both of them told me they were looking to get support the City. Thanks to Boston Market and especially longtime Welcome America sponsor NRG for sponsoring some of my favorite events. I look forward to seeing you all, just shout out PhillyChitChat and I will get a photo of you to share on my pages…. Thanks HughE

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More Fun Pride Events To Enjoy

Sofitel Philadelphia’s annual Drag Tea adds two more dates after selling out: June 19 and 26. Head to Philly Gay Calendar for other shows around town.

The Pride Celebrations continue in June as Philly Gay Pride Month with a month-long celebration! FCM Hospitality and owner Avram Hornik announce that Lola’s Garden, Juno, Parks on Tap (two locations), Morgan’s Pier, Harper’s Garden, Craft Hall, The Garden at Cherry Street Pier and Rosy’s Taco Bar will all work in unison to help raise funds for LGBTQ Philadelphia-based charities through Philly Gay Pride Month Cocktails for a Cause.

All eight locations will feature a special-colored cocktail that matches up with the eight colors of the Philadelphia Gay Pride Flag. All eight cocktails to match the eight colors in the Philly-specific and inclusive rainbow flag will raise money for four different charities. One dollar from all eight cocktails during the 30 days of June will go to support William Way LGBT Community Center, Attic Youth Center, Philly Asian Queer and Galaei. This stance in social solidarity hopes to shine light to the various communities that the celebration of national Pride month helps represent, being mindful to include all groups that help make Philadelphia the amazing, diverse community it is. FCM Hospitality will compile donations from all venues and equally divide them between the organizations which were selected for their dedicated work and ongoing efforts to focus on intersectional populations. Additionally, FCM Hospitality will host the first-ever Philly Gay Pride Day at Parks on Tap at Trail’s End on Saturday, June 12, 2021, from 12:00pm to 6:00pm.

#loveislove Gay Pride Month Special Beer Release (also, Philly Beer Week) 
Available at the Lab at Evil Genius and through GoPuff starting June 1st
Evil Genius Beer Company
Love who you want to, drink what you want to! Evil Genius Beer Companyy celebrates June as Philly Gay Pride Month with a special limited edition beer release #loveislove. This brand-new Strawberry Blonde Ale (6% ABV) is crisp with a hint of natural strawberry flavor. A portion from all sales will be donated to The Trevor Project, a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQIA+ youth. Starting June 1st, #loveislove is available in Evil Genius’ new 12 ounce cans at the Lab in Fishtown – and for exclusive delivery to your front door through a Pride partnership with GoPuff. The beer will also be available on limited release in drafts at the Lab and Evil Genius Beer Garden. Limited supplies of #loveislove will also be available at retailers and restaurants in Harrisburg and York, PA.

BOS Philly Presents Pride Night at Concourse Dance Bar
Friday, June 11, 2021, 10:00pm to 2:00am
Presented by BOS Philly  
At venue Concourse Dance Bar
1635 S. Market Street, Philadelphia
267-534-4128
Tickets/organizer:  http://bosphilly.com
Venue: https://www.concoursedancebar.com  

Philadelphia, get ready to dance again! Timed with the reopening of Philadelphia bars and dance floors, BOS Philly will take over Concourse Dance Bar with Pride Night featuring DJ K!RK. Get ready for the first big party of the year! Celebrate Pride Month with the team that brought you Primal, Goldlust, Fairydust, and more! Concourse has become known for its Instagram-famous ball pit, this massive underground nightclub in Center City is decked out with eclectic, retro flair. Get ready to dance for the first time in a year and a half! This event is presented by BOS Philly at venue Concourse Dance Bar. Tickets are $25 or save $5 when tickets are bought in advance with promo code BOS2021. Tickets are available at: http://bosphilly.com.

Northern Liberties, the years of waiting are over and Philly’s hottest food neighborhood finally will get its bagel shop! Glu Hospitality debuts its first-ever breakfast and lunch concept Bagels and Co (1001 N 2nd St) with a grand opening celebration between Friday, June 4 and Sunday, June 13, 2021. On June 12th, Bagels and Co. will celebrate their grand opening with festivities all day with a free cup of coffee with any bagel or sandwich purchase. Bagels and Co. will stay open that day for a Grand Opening Public Party in conjunction with Northern Liberties Second Saturday and Artists at Work, with a DJ, featured artist at work, samples, giveaways – plus a local offer for the neighborhood with 10% off for any locals who show identification, mail or anything that says they are from No Libs and 19123 zip code – or from anyone that works in the neighborhood. More happening in the Northern Liberties Business Improvement District presents Artists at Work Celebrate Pride. On Saturday, June 12th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, head to various businesses in Northern Liberties for a celebration that features local artists showcasing and making their wares, including several featured LGBTQ artists.

Saturday, June 12, 2021 | 9:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

On Saturday, June 12, 2021, Come Alive 215 and Meet Philadelphia present a Pride Workout, Drag Show and Picnic Brunch – to benefit two essential local gay charities.

Double the trouble, double the fun, double the sweat!
Fitness experts Kim Harari and Shannon Brennan of Come Alive 215 just won Best of Philly for Best Virtual Workout Class in 2020 – and the duo are keeping things moving into 2021!
Their fitness classes are unlike anything else in the Philadelphia fitness market – and the electric workout experiences have gone viral! Now, the duo are headed back outdoors, with some of the biggest names in town – for Philly Gay Pride Month.
For food, the duo get some help from one of the single biggest names in town. James Beard winner Michael Solomonov will be providing brunch bites, along with other complimentary food and drink from the likes of Crystal Head Vodka, Athleta, NY Bagel Butler, Red Bull, Bean2Bean and more. Drag performances will showcase the talents of Vinchelle, Iris Spectre and Poochie, with beats from DJ Kat Bancer.
Tickets are on sale now for $65.00 with a portion of proceeds being donated to The Attic Youth Center and William Way LGBT Community Center. For details and tickets visit hellopride.eventbrite.com.

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Sofitel’s Drag Queen Tea Attic Fundraiser Plus A Month of Pride Events

Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square, part of AccorHotels, will celebrate June as Gay Pride Month with a series of new events and initiatives, including turning the hotel lobby into the Pride Month “LGBTQ Hall of Flags.” For the first time ever, Sofitel will fly a giant Philadelphia Pride Flag on the outside of the hotel. Inside, look for the flag to be joined by six individual LGBTQ flags flying high above the lobby to celebrate the diversity of the hotel’s community.

Sofitel Philadelphia kicks off Pride Month during Philadelphia’s Gay Pride Weekend. On Saturday, June 8th, and again on Saturday, June 15th, look for a new spin on a time-honored tradition.

Sofitel, famous for its classic afternoon tea service, will debut a new Drag Tea featuring Brittany Lynn’s Drag Mafia. Sip tea (or spill it) in the presence of fabulous Drag Queens as you enjoy delicious offerings from Sofitel’s award-winning culinary team. Drag Tea starts each week at 2:00pm and runs through 4:00pm inside Chez Colette Brasserie. Last weeks event was a sold out spectacular, hilarious time. You’ll want to go this weekend.

Tickets are $40 per person – and add $10 for bottomless Champagne, Mimosas or Bloody Marys. Five dollars from each purchase will be donated to the Attic Center for LGBTQ Youth. Tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/drag-queen-afternoon-tea-tickets-62597245045

On Friday, June 21, 2019, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, head outside for Sofitel Philadelphia’s annual Fête de La Musique celebration featuring a mini-block party under the porte with music, entertainment, drag performances, complimentary lite bites and cocktail samples. The Fête de la Musique began in Paris in 1982, and was founded by the popular French cultural minister Jack Lang. The festival originated in a humble burst of musical idealism and a few power connections, and yet, in only two decades has become a wildly popular global event. (Info from press release)

Sofitel will conclude Pride Month in Philadelphia with the opening art reception for French Kiss by Janice Telstar on Thursday, June 27th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. The Reading, PA artist will debut her photographs in the lobby for a summer exhibition. Guests will enjoy complimentary bites and cocktail samples from Sofitel’s new summer menu.

Attic Youth Donations: During the entire month of June, and through the rest of 2019, Sofitel Philadelphia will donate one dollar per each banquet menu item designated with the Attic’s logo on the menu. Sofitel Philadelphia will also donate one dollar from every Liberté cocktail sold in the Liberté Lounge to Attic during Pride Month. All funds will support programs for local LGBTQ youth. The Liberté Cocktail is available in Liberté Lounge and features pear infused Vodka, lemon, St. Germain and Sparkling Wine.

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An Evening in Franklin Square 2019

On Thursday, May 16th, 2019 Historic Philadelphia, Inc. hosted the 11th annual Evening in Franklin Square, presented by Parx Casino. From an initial investment of $6.5 million, Franklin Square has become an urban oasis and family play place, made possible by the involvement of individuals in the surrounding area.

Amy Needle, President and CEO – Historic Philadelphia , Almaz Crowe and Cari Feiler Bender

Guests dressed in garden-party attire, participated in the silent auction and enjoyed cocktails all in the name of raising much needed funds for the fun packed square at the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

One of the highlights of the cocktail hour was when guests participated in the Parx Square Derby, a carousel race, that was narrated by racing announcer Keith Jones (l) with the winners. The race was followed by a dinner, live auction, and plenty of dancing

Former Gov Ed Rendell, Kerry Smith, Melissa Piccoli, Jesse Rendell and Trey Miller
Marc Farzetta , part of the morning sports team of “Farzetta & Tra in the Morning” on 975TheFanatic and Celeste Farzetta
The Parx Casino Team – Kristen Hallahan, Michelle McPeak, Courtney Smugar, Keegan Servati, Linh Nguyen and Codi Chancellor

The annual event coincides with the Chinese Lantern Display, which includes new lantern’s and a new layout. It runs through June 30.

Then beginning July 31, check out the new Franklin Square Fountain Show! The 180-year-old, historic centerpiece of the Square will come to life with colorful, dancing fountains choreographed to popular songs by Boyz II Men, Katy Perry and Louis Armstrong and more! Enjoy daytime and evening shows, featuring LED lighting effects after dusk and it’s free!

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Party Links to Pixs and A Fond Farewell to Lucy Noland

The light is at the end of the tunnel, another week of double duty events, then Memorial Day and it slows down for the Spring Social Season. What a ride. Let’s review a few events I covered with links to where they were published as many of you would like to find your photo, see what folks wore to events and general chit chat here on the blog about decor and details. Next to the parties I have links to which media outlets they appear in; some of these events will be submitted for consideration in Philly Mag as well.

Jefferson Celebration of Innovation – Cocktail Reception, Innovation Exhibition and Awards Ceremony. This event appeared on ChitChat yesterday. It was a great event, the talent graduating from the school formerly known as Textiles, then Philadelphia University, now Jefferson University is really going to change the world. I love Jefferson’s president Steve Klasko, he’s a real visionary. He’s cobbled together a network of hospitals, and institutions in the name of curing the world.
In previous years it was a sit down dinner at the Crystal Tea Room in Center City. This year they decided to have it on their East Falls campus, in the basketball auditorium, within walking distance for the students, free parking for the guests. They did a great job with decor, draping the large space, and dividing it into two distinct areas, one of the cocktail party the other for a sit down program. If you missed yesterday’s column on the student innovation projects check them out HERE.

The 2019 BLOCS Gala for Catholic Education is held to raise funds for scholarships to ensure every child, regardless of religious beliefs or sociology-economic status, has equal access to a quality education. For forty years they have been committed to ensuring low-income families to have access to a high quality, vales based education in Catholic schools, and to equip and empower them to pursue their highest potential. Photos for this event appeared in Philly Style Magazine and CBSPhilly

The event was held at Cescaphe’s The Waterworks. The cocktail party took place under the Grand Pavilion; the dinner under a tent at The Mill House which was beautifully decorated by Beautiful Blooms, owned by Cescaphe.

West Laurel Hill presented a one-of-a-kind featured where Pennsylvania Ballet dancers, Sterling Baca , Lillian DiPiazza, Yuka Iseda, and Aleksey Babayev, performed excerpts from Romeo & Juliet and Giselle at the historic landmark on Sunday May 5, in celebration of the cemetery’s 150th anniversary.  . Also in the photo: Deborah Cassidy and Joanie Sweeney of West Laurel Hill (l) and on right Nancy Goldenberg, President of
West Laurel Hill Cemetery & Funeral Home and Laurel Hill Cemetery . Angel Corella, Artistic Director of the Pa Ballet, and Shelly Power, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Ballet. See additional stories and photos: Philly Voice. West Laurel Hill Cemetery is more than just a final resting place, they hold events in their conservatory, and give tours of the cemetery. It’s also an Arboretum. I like to bird watch there as well. Follow them on Twitter

Susan Russell, Michele Schaffer, and Lucy Noland, with American Humane Hero Therapy Dog of the year Aladdin. (Photo: Mike Hirata)

On sad news Lucy Noland announced on her FB page that she would be leaving Fox 29 as of May 30. No mention of what’s next for her, but where ever she goes they’ll be lucky to have her. I’ve always enjoyed her frank delivery of the news, as if she were one of us, speaking to us with empathy as sometimes the news was hard to swallow. It was nice getting to know her personally on Thanksgiving Day at Manna, or ever spring at the No Dog Gets Left Behind Gala. Here’s her complete message.

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South Street Easter Parade – The Fashion & Fun

The South Street Easter Parade on Sunday, April 21, 2019 was definitely one of my favorites. The weather was spectacular, but not too hot. The highest number of folks in recent years entered the fashion contest, often wearing the most fabulous outfits. Here are some fun photos.

The Rainbow Connection

It was great to see so many families on South Street

Pretty in Pink

Until Next Year South Street….

Check out Philly Voice Philly Style Magazine and CBSPhilly for more photos from the Easter Promenade on South Street

Saturday 4/27/19
Grab the Girls and head to Bloomingdale‘s Willow Grove for cocktails and Spring Fashion curated by
Alisa Frederico of Dressing Jane.
Check out exquisite pieces of fine fashion jeweler from Ann King Lago’s REALM
FREE
MIX MASTERS SPRING FASHION SHOW

by Bloomingdale’s