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:
Tomorrow night before the tree-lighting ceremony at Christmas Village, locals will gather at the Comcast Center with glowing lanterns to embark on a Christmas carol-backed parade to LOVE Park. There’s a whole itinerary involved, with multiple locations and rules about what kind of lanterns to bring, so I thought I’d put together this nifty guide so you can show up well-prepared to celebrate this first-of-its-kind — and really cool sounding — Lantern Parade.
After lots of buzz and a two-day sneak peek, Philly’s Christmas Village in LOVE Park is officially open. The German-inspired holiday attraction kicked off Thanksgiving Day and, according to organizers, drew a record number of visitors throughout the first weekend. Check out photos from the festivities below:
When the redesign of LOVE Park is complete, the already-futuristic-looking Welcome Center will look even more like a hovering spacecraft thanks to a $230,000 art installation that will have red, yellow and green lights beaming from its ceiling.
The project — a ceiling mural called Chromoscope — was dreamed up by Seattle-based art duo Haddad|Drugan (Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan). It keeps in tact the pavilion’s lantern-like lighting scheme, but adds in layers of colorful aluminum panels to create a funky abstract design made up of patterns and symbols inspired by Philly’s artistic and local history.
The lighting and design work together to create a different experience depending on the time of day or what color is illuminating the ceiling. In the daylight or when white light is used, for instance, all of the layered images will be visible at once, really showcasing the abstract design as a whole. When the sun sets, however, the “pattern becomes animated and kaleidoscopic with the projection of colored light onto the ceiling,” reads a description from Creative Philadelphia. Each of those colors will bring out different patterns in the design.
LOVE Park‘s ambitious redesign plan was approved by the Art Commission this week. While accolades for the park’s overall design and its metallic, color-changing Percent for Art installation were plentiful, the Commission wanted one tiny thing added to the final design: two public drinking fountains.
PlanPhilly’s Jared Brey reports that the Commission added “a requirement for the fountains,” which is important because unlike the non-binding design recommendations of Civic Design Review, the public fountains are now legally required to be installed in the park. The Art Commission has some juice, baby.
Once again, LOVE Park will be transformed into an open-air German Christmas market throughout the holidays. But this year, you’ll be able to enjoy it for a wee bit longer. Organizers announced this week that, for the first time in its history, it will open before Thanksgiving, during a sneak-peek preview on November 21st and 22nd. It will open back up for good on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th and be in business through December 27th.
The team behind the overhaul of LOVE Park presented their final plans at a meeting on Monday night, and there are a few key tweaks to the design that was originally released in May.
According to Ashley Hahn of PlanPhilly, the construction budget has been upped from $11.2 million to $16.5 million in order to create a higher-quality space, and one of the more noticeable additions to the refined plans by Hargreaves Associates is a whole lot of color throughout the park.
The new LOVE Park will ditch much of the unwelcoming hardscaping and clunky access for a vibrant and more engaging experience where visitors can enjoy seasonal gardens, sit beneath shade trees or take in the sights of the city from the deck of the new dining area. Whimsical tones of pink, green and grey granite will further highlight each space and a metallic mural will be installed on the ceiling of the Saucer, also known as the Fairmount Park Welcome Center.
Oh, and don’t worry, the beloved LOVE sculpture is staying put, albeit slightly repositioned for optimal sight lines through to the Parkway.
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— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) October 27, 2015
Fire broke out at the iconic LOVE Park “spaceship” overnight.
“The fire started about 3:30 a.m. at the Fairmount Park Welcome Center building at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard at LOVE Park,” NBC10 reports. “According to investigators, police officers on routine patrol spotted smoke coming from the building and alerted the fire department.” Read more »
“Young Boy Found Wandering in LOVE Park.” It was easy to judge the story’s first headline, and judge I easily did. Why was a 2-year-old outside alone, barefoot, on a cold autumn night? What’s wrong with his parents?
But the second headline, well, that one was a little more difficult: “Homeless Toddler Inspires Fundraising Campaign.”
It’s confusing to read and it’s confusing to type. It was ugly yesterday and it’s uglier today. I’ve lived in this city my whole life, and I like to think I’ve done so with my eyes open. I worked two blocks from LOVE Park for five years, and when I got on the El to return to my warm home every night, I didn’t take it for granted. Read more »
Just a day before Robert Indiana’s AMOR sculpture was unveiled on the steps of the Art Museum, a graffiti artist took a can of spray paint to the artist’s iconic equivalent in Love Park. The LOVE sculpture was tagged with “#FuckThePope.” A photo posted last night on the Facebook group page “South Silly” showed the damage:
The verbiage echoes the sentiment of a trending Twitter hashtag of the same name. People are using it to gripe about Francis’s visit to the City of Brotherly Love this week. Some examples: