PHOTOS: Holiday Lantern Parade and Tree-Lighting in Christmas Village

Philadelphians brought glowing lanterns of all shapes, colors and sizes to the first-ever Lantern Parade to Christmas Village over the weekend. The procession began at Comcast Center Plaza and made its way to LOVE Park for the annual tree-lighting ceremony, with folks singing carols along the way. The actual tree-lighting saw a performance from The Philly POPS Brass Quintet, and appearances by CBS3 Meteorologist Kate Bilo and First Deputy Commissioner of Parks & Facilities Mark Focht, who had the honor of flipping the switch. Check out photos from the event below for some beginning-of-the-week holiday inspiration:



15 Things to Do in Philly This Week

This week, take a holiday trolley tour to the different mansions in Fairmount Park. | Photo by R. Kennedy

This week, take a holiday trolley tour to the different mansions in Fairmount Park. | Photo by R. Kennedy

There are multiple ways to ring in the holiday this week, including the remarkable Vienna Boys Choir who will be in town for a benefit performance for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Don’t miss two early-evening young friends cocktail parties at Fleisher Art Memorial and National Museum of American Jewish History and a couple holiday trolley tours through Fairmount Park. Looking for tunes? No matter what your taste, you’ll find something to tap your feet to with a performance by The Philly Pops, Q102 Jingle Ball and a curious-sounding Star Wars rock-and-roll cabaret.

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21 Things to Do in Philly This Weekend

things to do in philly tree lightings

This weekend, there are plenty of holiday celebrations to greet December properly, from shopping opportunities on Rittenhouse Row, to a trio of tree lighting ceremonies, at Christmas Village, Winterfest and South Street.Jewish celebrations aren’t exempt either — enjoy Hanakkah festivities at Latkepalooza with latkes, donuts and ice cream. Want to get away from the Christmas-y mood for a while? Check out a show like Deerhunter at Union Transfer, an award-winning film made by Temple and Penn students, a murder mystery at the Art Museum, and more.

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The Best Christmas Lights In and Around Philadelphia

The popular light display at Shady Brook Farm. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

The popular light display at Shady Brook Farm. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Shady Brook Farm

931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley

You haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty, Leaning Tower of Pisa or Great Wall of China until you’ve seen them made out of Christmas lights. Weave your car (or let a tractor pull you) along the two-mile path past the Seven Wonders of the World and through tunnels made of twinkling lights as you view more bedecked trees, snowmen and toy soldiers than you can possibly imagine. You’ll end up at the farm market for hot chocolate, s’mores by a bonfire, and, if you want, the perfect tree to haul home. $20 per carload during the week with a food donation; $25 on weekends.

Go here for: Family tradition; the Flemings have been running this farm for generations and the holiday show for 20-plus years.

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Philadelphians to Spend 18 Percent Less on Holiday Shopping in 2015

imtmphoto/Shutterstock

imtmphoto/Shutterstock

When it comes to holiday shopping, the Philadelphia region is tightening its belt this season. It’s decreasing its holiday spending by 18 percent compared to last year— but nationally, spending is increasing 12.5 percent.

That’s according to a new study from professional services firm Deloitte, finding that Philadelphia-area consumers expect to spent $1,249 compared to $1,532 in 2014 — a difference of nearly $300. Nationally, spending is set to be $1,462 in 2015. Read more »

Philadelphia Museum of Art Tree-Lighting

Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tomorrow evening (November 25th), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) will hold a ceremony to light the 47-foot-tall Christmas tree on the Museum’s Eastern Terrace. The event starts at 5 pm, with hot chocolate, candy canes and cookies provided by the Museum, and a performance by the Haddonfield Madrigal Singers.

The tree will be lit with solar-powered lights and, for the first and only time, it will stand behind Robert Indiana‘s AMOR sculpture, that was unveiled in September for the pope’s visit. The sculpture is expected to stay at PMA through the end of January — long after the tree’s gone.

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Dilworth Park’s Rothman Ice Rink Opens Next Week

rothman-skating-rink

With all the announcements about Christmas villages and holiday light shows popping up, there was one question on all of our minds: What about Dilworth Park’s Rothman Ice Rink? The answer is Friday, November 13th.

Despite the sinister Friday the 13th starting date, the opening celebration promises to be full of all the seasonal cheer you’d expect but with an emphasis on Philly sports. Philadelphia Eagles mascot Swoop will be on hand to lead a pep rally along with Sixers mascot Franklin and the Phillies Phlight Squad. (I guess the Phanatic was too busy basking in his newfound fame.) The afternoon will be set to tunes by the Eagles Pep Band, and, just to make sure the ice is good and sound, the Flyers Skate Girls will slink out onto the rink to test out the ice before the crowds descend upon it for winter.

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Oh Sh#%, Here Comes Christmas

christmas

Oh sh#% indeed. | Shutterstock.

I only heard the announcement because WHYY was conducting a fund drive and I was surfing the radio dial in the car. (Then again, when isn’t WHYY conducting a fund drive?) Still, what I heard did cause me to look a bit less fondly at my decade-old Honda, which, despite the extensive body damage inflicted by my parking garage (love you guys!) and the 197,568 miles on its odometer, I usually like very much. My Honda, though, doesn’t have Sirius. And the announcement from radio station More FM 101 was that already, now, right this very minute, it was conducting an online poll to choose which Christmas songs we, the people, want to hear this year.

This was two weeks before Halloween. Read more »

Christmas in September? 14 Percent Have Already Started Shopping

Mirelle/Shutterstock

Mirelle/Shutterstock

Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier every year. Last year I saw a Christmas commercial before Halloween. (Before Halloween!) Corporations, I know Christmas is your biggest opportunity to sell things we probably don’t need, but at least wait until it’s cold outside to start your Christmas promotions. It’s going to be 88 degrees in Philly today!

But some Americans would disagree with me. A new poll by CreditCards.com found that 14 percent of consumers have already started their Christmas shopping. If extrapolated to the American populace, that would mean 32 million Americans have begun shopping. What’s more, 2 percent — or 4.6 million consumers — are already finished their Christmas shopping. Wow. Read more »

Phillies Minor League Club Wearing Elf-Themed Jerseys Tonight

Fightins - Elf jersey

J.P. Crawford’s “Christmas in July” jersey (Photo courtesy Reading Fightin Phils)

As part of a “Christmas in July” promotion at tonight’s game, the Reading Fightin Phils will be donning elf-themed jerseys at the ballpark tonight. They are ridiculous-looking, obviously, as they look like an elf costume. Read more »

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