Deck East Passyunk Ave.

Month-long festivities kick off tonight

East Passyunk Avenue has become a kind of second Gayborhood in recent years. And for good reason. The gay-friendly enclave is not only home to many in the LGBT community, but also plenty of gay-owned shops, restaurants and other attractions. To celebrate everything we love about this creative little enclave, The East Passyunk Ave. Business Improvement District (EPABID, for short) is kicking off a new, month-long “Deck the Ave” campaign tonight (Nov. 29) with events, sales and promotions at more than 150 independently owned retail shops, restaurants and bars.

It all gets started with the official Tree Lighting Party at the Singing Fountain (5 p.m.). And starting on Saturday (Dec. 1) – and every Wednesday through Dec. 22 – kids can have their photo taken with Santa at Alphabet Gardens.

Here’s a roundup of events:

Go on a bar crawl with Santa

December 1: It’s the Passyunk Square Holiday Fundraiser (2 p.m.) at Urban Jungle. Pick up your Christmas tree, wreaths and other holiday goodies and the proceeds support the Passyunk Square Civic Association. Santa and holiday carolers will be on-site (4 p.m.). Bonus: Take your receipt to Black N Brew for a dollar off any specialty drink.

December 8: Second Saturday boasts the largest line-up of events, sales and activities (ever) with strolling musicians, a shopping spree contest, ornament show, craft show and pet photos with Santa. For every $10 spent, you could win a $100 shopping spree. Just save your receipts and visit the EPABID office (1904 East Passyunk) to register. Click here for a complete list of participating businesses. You can also catch the Crafty Balboa Holiday Show (11 a.m.) at the SS Neumann Goretti High School with more than 60 artists. The first 50 shoppers receive limited-edition “Girls Can Tell” totes filled with special items from the vendors. Bonus: Capture the moment in the Photobot 3000 booth.

Enjoy some free pizza at QOTA

December 12: Beer and drink enthusiasts are invited to visit 12 restaurants and bars during the Spirits & Suds with Santa Bar Crawl. It all gets started at Urban Jungle (5:30 p.m.) with a closing party at Cantina Los Caballitos (10 p.m.). The $5 admission gets you $3 craft beers, $4 merry cocktails and $5 snacks (at select locations), a Santa or Elf hat and Santa’s Sipping Stamp Card. Cards will be stamped with your purchase of every drink or food item, and after collecting five stamps, you’ll be entered to win a package of $300 in gift certificates from participating bars, as well as other prizes. Every stamp over five gets you an extra chance – so drink (and eat) up.

Through December 15: Bring a new unwrapped toy to any Alphabet Academy location for Toys for Tots.

December 18: Join the LGBT party QOTA at Birra (6 p.m.). Guests will enjoy free flat bread pizza samples and drink specials. While admission is free, everyone’s encouraged to donate to the gift card drive to help needy families this holiday. Gift cards will be distributed through the East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association.