The First-Ever Lantern Parade to Christmas Village Happens Tomorrow

All you need to know about this new Philly holiday tradition in the making — from where to meet to how to build your lantern.

Russ Brown Photography

Russ Brown Photography

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.

First, the lanterns: You can show up with one you made at home, decorated any way you please, or there will be some for sale at the start of the parade. The Christmas Village has laid out instructions on how to build your own lantern here. Go wild with the decorating, but all organizers ask is that the lantern is flameless. So pick up one of those flickering, battery-powered votives at CVS or Target.

Festivities kick off at 4 pm at the Comcast Center Plaza at 17th Street and JFK Boulevard. Here’s what happens from there, broken down by minute:

4 pm Spring Garden Academy performs in Comcast Center Plaza

4:25 pm Comcast’s Karen Buchholz will deliver welcoming remarks in the Comcast Center Lobby

4:30 pm Guests can watch the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, the annual 15-minute sound and light show shown on the giant video wall in the lobby.

5 pm The walk from Comcast Center to Christmas Village commences, with children carolers from Walnut Street Theatre singing carols along the way.

The parade will wind its way from the Comcast Center to the Christmas Village at LOVE Park, lanterns a blazing (as much as battery-powered lanterns can blaze, anyway.) You should reach the Christmas Village by 5:30 pm, where the Philly Pops Festival Brass Quintet will perform on the main stage.

The tree-lighting begins at 6:20 pm with local dignitaries and celebs, like Kate Bilo of CBS3, giving remarks. The tree will glow with 5,929 43-inch LED lights and stars, and be adorned with 672 ornaments. When the tree is lit, you’re free to explore the Village, do some shopping and enjoy some snacks in one of the many German-inspired booths.

Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy that will be donated to a local child in need. CBS will have a truck at LOVE Park where they can be dropped off.

Hope this is helpful. Happy parading!

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