Deck the Ave with boughs of holly down on East Passyunk.
Throughout the holiday season, this South Philadelphia neighborhood will be able to indulge in more than one seasonal activity.
Kicking off Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26) and running throughout the duration of the holiday season, this colorful activation will feature photos with Santa, a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, a Hanukkah Menorah Lighting, an inaugural Hot Chocolate Crawl and more.
The tree lighting ceremony is perhaps one of the most notable traditions down in this neck of Philly. Taking place on Dec. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m., this annual activation brings visitors of all ages to see the main event, with the background sounds of the Coppin Middle School HOME Band. In addition to the excitement of the ceremony, the massive tree is adorned with vibrant LED lights, aimed to colorfully visualize the joyous sounds of holiday music within the surrounding area, a release states.
“The holiday season is a special one for us on East Passyunk Avenue as we’ve got an assortment of festive, new and returning events, shopping, and music planned for everyone visiting the Avenue from near and far,” said Adam Leiter, Executive Director of East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District in a statement. “We’re really looking forward to celebrating this cheerful time together, and welcome all to pay a visit to the Avenue throughout Deck The Ave for all types of gifting needs and holiday-centric entertainment.”
Having your photo snapped with Jolly old St. Nicholas is another popular feature on East Passyunk— and it’s encouraged for both children and four-legged friends as well. The photos begin the same night as the Tree Lighting (Dec. 1) at the Singing Fountain. If you can’t make it out on that night however, there will be additional opportunities on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m., and Thursday, Dec. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. (pet-focused).
There will also be additional shopping specials that Philadelphians can indulge in while at Deck the Ave. Firstly, the East Passyunk Punch Card will be available to use from Nov. 26 to Jan. 2. With the card, Philadelphians will receive a punch for each $10 spent at participating businesses. And as the release states, once 10 punches have been received, visitors can then submit the completed card to one of East Passyunk Avenue’s businesses and be automatically entered to win a weekly gift card from a raffle.
The Second Saturday Shop and Stroll/Hot Chocolate Crawl on the other hand will be chock full of holiday-inspired sidewalk sales, pop-up events and live entertainment. And of course, there will also be various hot cocoa and boozy-alternative chocolate creations available at numerous local restaurants, bars, and cafés on Saturday, Dec. 10. The event is pay-as-you-go, and more details will become available leading up to the event.
The holiday festivities will also feature Hanukkah celebrations, where The South Philadelphia Shtiebel will lead the community in celebrating the festival of lights with the annual Hanukkah Menorah Lighting at the Singing Fountain on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m.
And for those who can’t make photos with Santa, why not send him a letter? As the release states, all are invited to drop off letters to Santa at East Passyunk Avenue’s North Pole Mailbox located at The Singing Fountain starting on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Local musicians and carolers will also be performing throughout the duration of Deck The Ave.
Philadelphians will be able to check out musical stylings from the Opera Project (ePOP) caroling from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, and Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 17. There will also be additional dates with Dot Rose of Dottie’s Serenade Service, and singer-songwriters like Mike Dougherty and The Fourth Son (more information can be found online).
And finally, the 12th Annual Ornament Show —presented by Nice Things Handmade—will include more than 30 participating local artists submitting handmade ornaments for sale beginning Saturday, Nov. 19.