Christmas is approaching and Philly lights up with lumens and libations for the holiday season.
With a surprisingly uneventful Thanksgiving Day parade behind us and a fearful Omicron holiday season of shopping before us, this is the week where everything Christmas gets lit up and-or popped up. While sadly, this week doesn’t include any oversized celebrations of Hannukah, Kwanza or Ramadan, it does mean a lot of Anglo-Judao-Christian boozing corporate sponsorship and such. Presently, the drinks-and-lite-bites of the annual Tinsel Christmas Pop-Up saloon is now up and running along South 12th Street in Midtown Village. East Market the block between Market and Chestnut, 11th and 12th streets, has already put up its own 35 foot holiday tree, so that happened, and starting December 2 and running every Thursday through Sunday in December, the block is promising a mega-LED lights and synchronized, animated light show.
Close-by to Tinsel, the official Philly Christmas tree is already up and standing tall, but its official lighting celebration is on Thursday, December 2, with the Mayor. If that’s your thing, you should go. Don’t bother asking him about murder or police stuff or upcoming new Covid precautions. Pick your moment.
So what else is coming with the holiday lights and the trees?
Northern Liberties just held its first neighborhood Christmas tree lighting yesterday afternoon, November 30, to go with all of its wintry igloos outside of Figo Ristorante at North 2nd Street. So things are going to be very Italian at the Piazza.
Speaking of a Roman holiday, the bosses behind South 9th Street and the Italian Market District will kick off that block’s shopping season (so lots of mozzarella and Molly’s Books & Records) on Friday, December 3 at 5 pm, right on the corner of 9th and Montrose Streets, at the “The Piazza” where Frank Rizzo’s mural once stood.
Along with hosting its usual First Friday Gallery Walk with the likes of Muse Gallery’s AHEAD, “a celebration of art” showcase, Wexler Gallery’s Back and Forth: Red and Meth, and The Center for Art in Wood’s Extra-Human: The Sculpture of Michael Ferris exhibition – all themed for the holiday (the Meth show, surely), Old City is going virtual with its tree lighting Wednesday, December 1 at 6 pm. You have to find Old City District’s Facebook page to watch the fifth annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Betsy Ross House. I know we’re frightened of the furthering of the pandemic, but this seems a bit chilly. Old City will host everything from an Elfreth’s Alley Deck the Alley party on December 4 to its annual parade of lights to its shopping stroll between tonight and December 15, so surely, you’ll get a chance to run up beside someone at Shane’s Confectionary or Cuba Libre. And while I’m not totally ready to discuss holiday cuisine, Front Street’s La Famiglia starts its very Italian Seven Fish Menu on December 1 (through the 30th).
If your ice skates are sharpened (hey, that sounds like a weapon…. Duck!) there’s the Holiday Tree Lighting Powered By PECO (see, corporate sponsorship right when they’ve promised to double your electric bill in time for Christmas) on Friday, December 3 at 6 pm at the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest on South Columbus Boulevard.
And, NoLibs’s Evil Genius Beer Company will host its surely crooked star topping tree ceremony on December 2 at 6 pm, while simultaneously dropping its newest brew, “Santa, I Know Him.”
The gift of beer and Philadelphia… Such a perfect holiday.