PHOTOS: Meet the Adorable Baby Red Pandas at Philadelphia Zoo

Photographer HughE Dillon did us a solid this morning by going to the Philadelphia Zoo to take photos of the two brand new baby red pandas. Today was the first time the yet-to-be-named furballs have been set free in their sanctuary, in full sight of the public. They were born in June to 5-year-old parents Spark (mom) and Basil (pops). I’m going to stop typing now so you can look at the pictures. Gets your awwwwwwws ready:

Up until today, the mother has been caring for the cubs. I’m told they are super active, and are currently able to eat a diet of fresh bamboo, grapes, apples and biscuits on their own. When they are old enough, the cubs will move to other institutions to breed with other red pandas.

Similar to the social media campaign they held in 2014 to name their new lion cubs, the Zoo is encouraging fans to chime in about what the cubs should be named. To put in your two cents, visit their Facebook page here, or email

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Gala


On November 14, 2015, The Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) honored me(!) with the 2015 Humanitarian Award for my advocacy in promoting AFSP’s overall mission: to end the silence and reduce the stigma around mental illness and suicide.

When Garden Wellington (PR for the AFSP) approached me a few years back, asking me to get involved in the organization by photographing the Out of the Darkness Walk, I turned her down. I told her I was too busy. But the truth was that I didn’t want to face my past. She persisted, and a few months later asked me again, saying the organization could use a little HughE love on a subject, that at the time rarely was covered in the media. I told her I’d get back to her.

I realized I could help others by telling my story, when I struggled with the issue in my 20s. I then told my story on my blog and on social media. They tell me that with my help over the past three years they have double the number of people who come to their annual walk, held in October; this past year 5,000 walkers participated.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is the leader in the fight against suicide. They fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. The 350 guests who attended enjoyed dinner, dancing and the most amazing silent auction from generous sponsors. Thanks to everyone who supported the event by attending, or making a donation. We’re saving lives.

Photos after the jump »

WATCH: Mayor Elect Jim Kenney Sings “The Animal Song” at Philly Zoo Gala

Philly mayors like to sing (see here, for instance), and Mayor Elect Jim Kenney is no exception. Last night, he attended the Philadelphia Zoo’s annual Global Conservation Gala, where he treated the audience to a talk/sing rendition of “The Animal Song.” The tune appeared in zoo commercials around the country in the early 1960s promoting a Zoo Key program for kids.

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PHOTOS: Big Crowds Greet Sylvester Stallone and Creed Cast at Rocky Steps

Photo by HughE Dillon

Stallone signing autographs in the excited crowd. | Photo by HughE Dillon

A huge crowd of Rocky fans turned up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Rocky Steps” this morning to greet Sylvester Stallone and the cast of Creed, who, as it was announced earlier this week, appeared there to share news about the seventh installation of the Rocky franchise. Stallone was joined by co-stars Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) and Tessa Thompson (Selma, Dear White People), writer/director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), and longtime Rocky producer Irwin Winkler. Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia Film Office Executive Director Sharon Pinkenson were also there.

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PHOTOS: Henri David Ball 2015

This weekend saw the 42nd edition of Henri David’s Halloween Ball. The always-over-the-top costume parade drew 1,500 guests to the Sheraton Center City dressed as everything from Donald Trump’s Mexican border wall to the fortune teller from Big and some other crazy get-ups that ran the gamut from scary to precious to just plain outlandish. Some of the bigger names to attend this year included former Governor Ed Rendell, “condo king” Allan Domb, and Mayor Nutter’s LGBT liaison Nellie Fitzpatrick. Check out photos from the night below, mostly taken during the costume contest.

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Jimmy Fallon Toasts The Roots at Walk of Fame Gala at the Fillmore

Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on stage at the Fillmore. | Photo by HughE Dillon

Jimmy Fallon and The Roots on stage at the Fillmore. | Photo by HughE Dillon

Jimmy Fallon made an appearance last night at the Fillmore in Fishtown for the Philadelphia Music Alliance’s sold-out gala to induct The Roots and a handful of other local musical talents into the 2015 Walk of Fame.

The local-celeb-studded night was hosted by Saturday Night Live alum Joe Piscopo and honored seven musical inductees, including disc jockey Harvey Holiday, glam rock band Cinderella and Asleep at the Wheel frontman Ray Benson.

When it was time for Fallon to take the stage, he presented The Roots – his house band on The Tonight Show — with a plaque of their platinum albums and delivered a heartfelt speech about his journey with the band since their first meeting in 2008. He even tried out some Philly slang: “I don’t just see a band, I see my family,” Fallon said. “We’ve had some great times together. They can do anything. The Roots are my jawn.”

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PHOTOS: Old City Fest Draws More Than 20,000

Organizers say more than 20,000 showed up for this weekend’s Old City Fest — blasting past the 15,000 they were expecting. It’s no wonder; it couldn’t have fallen on a more beautiful day. Under the sunny, cloudless skies, revelers browsed booths by neighborhood boutiques and art galleries, and grubbed on snacks from a variety of restaurants in the area.

There was also a fashion show, artists creating works in the open and a festival stage, where Philly musicians cranked out tunes all afternoon. HughE Dillon and reps from the festival sent over some photos that captured the day. Check them out below:


The View Co-Host Raven-Symoné Surprises Whoopi Goldberg at Valley Forge Casino Show

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg on stage at Valley Forge Casino

Whoopi Goldberg came to Valley Forge Casino Resort this Saturday night as part of their ongoing Valley Forge Music Fair. She played to a packed house — and for the last hour of the show she took questions from the audience. Attendees grilled her about The View, reminisced about favorite movie moments, talked about what an inspiration she was to them, and even brought gifts for Bear (her shelter dog that is deaf and blind). She adopted him locally from Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs. (She visited there Saturday afternoon before her show.)

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Shaq Clowns Around With Fans, Unveils New Blackjack Game at Parx Casino


Shaquille O’Neal introduced a new hybrid table/slot game, called ShaqBLACKJack, this Sunday night at Parx Casino in Bensalem. Over 500 fans came out to see the retired basketball legend. He posed for photos along the pic wall and signed memorabilia before heading over to deal a few hands for ShaqBLACKJack players.


According to an article we posted in September, Shaq was heavily involved in creating the game. Here’s how it works: “ShaqBlackJack has a live dealer, who pulls cards out of a shoe and deals onto a table. But he or she deals three hands, instead of just one. Players sit at consoles near the dealer; before each hand, they are allowed to pick which hand they want to play against. Yes, otherwise this seems exactly the same as any other type of blackjack. But it has a cartoon Shaquille O’Neal that congratulates you if you win.”

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The New Philadelphia Fillmore: Reviewed

Photo by HughE Dillon

Photo by HughE Dillon

Say this for Hall & Oates—they are nothing if not punctual. Last night’s curtain-raising show at the new Fillmore Philadelphia was set to start at 8pm, and I was still exploring the new venue when Michael Nutter introduced the hometown duo on stage. But no one in the sold-out crowd was there for the mayor, and really, the night felt more like a grand opening featuring a special musical guest than a Hall & Oates concert. The music was what you’d expect from two guys in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, who both gave requisite props to their hometown. But the star of the show was the Fillmore itself.

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