Beneath the depths of Franklin Square sits an idle PATCO station which last saw customers walk through its turnstiles in 1979 – the same year that ESPN launched and Michael Jackson released his breakthrough solo album, Off the Wall. The station at 6th and Race streets has an interesting history of operation: It opened in 1936 as part of (SEPTA predecessor) Philadelphia Rapid Transit’s Bridge Line service, but closed in 1939 due to inactivity. It then was revived for stints from 1943-1946, 1952-1953 and then finally 1976-1979 as a PATCO stop. Read more »
We still have costumes and Trick-or-Treating to get through, but as soon as the Halloween candy is divvied up it’s a straight shot into the holiday season and all the twinkling lights that come with it. The Franklin Square Holiday Festival kicks off Thursday, November 10th, with Taste of the Holiday Season. Ben Franklin and characters from Star Wars and Frozen will be in attendance, along with musicians from the Philly Pops playing a lead up to the first Electrical Spectacle light show of the year. Unlike the Chinese Lantern Festival, this one is free. Read more »
If you’re thinking of heading out to Franklin Square tonight for the debut of the much-ballyhooed Chinese Lantern Festival, I’ve got one word for you: Don’t. It’s expensive, unimpressive, and an unethical use of our open, public space. Read more »
If you’ve walked by Franklin Square in the past few days, you likely noticed the carousel horses have been getting some flashy company. This Friday is the start of the park’s Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, which will feature 25 lanterns lit up nightly through June 12. These aren’t twinkling tea lights: We’re talking an 18,000-pound, 200-foot-long dragon, a four-story pagoda, and a sleuth of cute/vaguely creepy pandas (am I the only one getting the feeling they want us to come play with them forever and ever?)
Most of the lanterns were made in Zigong in the Sichuan province of China, and 20 Chinese artists are here installing them and putting on the finishing touches. During the daytime, entry to Franklin Square will be free as usual, but come 6 p.m. you’ll need a ticket to get in to the festival. It’s a little steep, at $17 for adults, $12 for kids (17 and under) and $15 for seniors, but along with the opportunity to see the lit lanterns up close and personal, there will be performances, including a traditional Chinese “face-changing” show, plus vendors selling themed crafts and food.
Since 2009, SquareBurger in Franklin Square has been operated by Stephen Starr. The burger was an instant hit and the Cake Shake with Tastykake Krimpets an instant classic. But for 2016, the tenth year since Franklin Square has been revitalized, Square Burger will have a new operator. Now manning the stand and expanding the hours and offerings is Cooperage, the Cescaphe-backed wine and whiskey bar that resides in the Curtis at 7th and Sansom. Don’t worry, the Cake Shake isn’t going anywhere.
They’re some of the most revered spaces in the city — the five open public squares William Penn laid out in the 1680s to keep the green in his “greene Countrie Towne.” Today we hoverboard inside them, crave homes adjacent to them, let our kids clamber over their statues and fountains. Here, some facts you might not know about Rittenhouse, Logan, Washington, Franklin and Penn squares, courtesy of James McClelland and Lynn Miller’s new book City in a Park. Read more »
As part of this year’s Franklin Square Holiday Festival, events like Franklin Square Fridays, the Holiday Light Show and Ben’s Bites & Brews Beer Garden have all returned for the seasonal celebration.
The free Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show has more than 50,000 lights set to a soundtrack of holiday classics performed by the Philly Pops orchestra. The show begins every night at 4:30 p.m. and one guest gets the honor of flipping the switch to illuminate Franklin Square – which continues every half-hour until 8 p.m.
You know how you feel like Franklin Square is just oh-so-adorable and you always mean to get there for some of their seasonal events but you don’t have kids so you never seem to make it? Yeah, we get that.
Well, make some time tonight (or at least this winter) because the holiday festivities kick off with free hot chocolate, a new holiday market, the returning Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show and a beer tent. Tonight at 5pm, “Ben Franklin” will fire up the light show, which sets taped holiday music performed by The Philly POPS and partially arranged by Peter Nero to a dynamic 50,000-bulb flying kite display.
Two alternating light shows will run every half hour from 4:30-8 until December 31. Every night one audience member will get to light the first display.
Whether you like it or not, the holidays are just around the corner. Days are getting shorter, CVS has stocked its shelves with Santas and local attractions are gearing up for their yuletide-season programming. We’ve told you about Winterfest, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s ice skating rink and festival that’s happening through February. This week, details are rolling in about the festivities happening at Franklin Square.
Once again, the historical park will light up throughout the season with its Electrical Spectacle, what a rep from the park calls “a dancing light show choreographed to holiday music.” The exhibition is made up of 50,000 lights that will illuminate various attractions around the park from November 12th through December 31st. The lights will sparkle in sync with a soundtrack of holiday tunes performed by the Philly Pops every 30 minutes from 4:30 to 8 pm, Monday through Sunday.