A 200-Foot-Long Dragon Walks into Franklin Square

Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

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?)

Panda Paradise lantern display. Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

The Panda Paradise lantern display. Photo by Sichuan Tianyu

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.

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SquareBurger at Franklin Square Is Back with a New Operator

SquareBurger is now run by Cooperage, backed by Cescaphe Catering.

SquareBurger is now run by Cooperage, backed by Cescaphe Catering.

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.

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11 Things You Might Not Know About: Philly’s Public Squares



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 »

Franklin Square Has a Beer Garden

Franklin SquareAs 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.

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Franklin Square’s Holiday Festivities Kick Off Tonight

Embrace the holiday spirit in all its jolly glory–lest your heart shrink two sizes too small–at the Franklin Square Holiday Festival, running now through December 31st. The Square has transformed into the ultimate holiday village, with dazzling light shows, a soundtrack of festive classics performed by the Philly POPS, a market to shop handmade items and artisanal goods, and a beer garden with fire pits, seasonal brews, and comfort foods. There's tons of fun for the little ones too, including mini golf, the carousel, and train rides. Admission is free! For more information, click here. Friday, November 14th-Wednesday, December 31st, 4 p.m.-8 p.m., Franklin Square, 200 N. Sixth Street.

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.

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Franklin Square Kicking Off Dancing Light Show for the Holidays

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

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.

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Franklin Square Offering “No Ticket, No Problem” Promotion During Papal Visit

Franklin Square

If you didn’t get your Papal tickets, Franklin Square says no worries.

The popular park, located at 6th and Race Streets, has just announced that they are having a special “No Ticket, No Problem” promotion throughout the Papal visit. The park will be installing giant jumbotron screens to broadcast live Papal events throughout September 26 and 27. They’ll open their doors starting at 9 am and plan on closing at 8 pm both days, but will stay open until programming concludes. Read more »

12 Great Places to Catch an Outdoor Movie in Philly This Summer

All summer, organizations across the city are setting up their projectors to host free screenings of American classics, mega blockbusters and even a few Philly premieres. Spray on the bug repellant and lay out under the stars. If you’re looking for a cheep date or an evening activity the whole family can enjoy, here are some options to choose from.

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