Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Every year my friend Ed (not my Ed), organizes a Holiday Lights tour around the city of Philadelphia.  A group of us meet up and walk through the city admiring the Christmas displays throughout the city.  I've been attending every year since at least 1999 or 2000.  It is always a lot of fun and it really gets me in the Christmas spirit and I end up going home, weary, but feeling much more festive.  Last night we began our tour at the Christmas Village, which is similar to the small markets found in Germany.  Usually they have the village set up in Dilworth Plaza at City Hall, but since the area is a mess and still being cleaned up due to the fact that Occupy Philly was stationed there just a few weeks ago, the village was moved to Love Park, which is much more appropriate and a better layout for the shops in the village.  Thankfully the weather was somewhat warm for this time of year, so we weren't freezing our butts off while walking around the city.

 Welcome to Christmas Village!

 Christmas Tree at Love Park

I think this is a giant macaroni, but oddly enough there is no sponsor name, so we all assumed that it was sponsored by Kraft Macaroni and cheese.

After the Village, we headed over to the AIA bookstore which had a small toy museum dedicated to all the building toys such as Lego, Lincoln Logs, Erector sets and the like.

After this it was off to Macy's, which used to be the old John Wannamaker's Department Store.  First up is the fun A Christmas Carol display which has been in this city since at least the 60s.   A few years ago, there was a lovely story in the local papers about how the figures were in dire need of repair or replacement.  The original designer of the figures, whom to my surprise was still alive, was brought in to replace the old figures with new ones.  The work is amazing and the figures look exactly the same, but in newer condition.

 Its really cute, they recreate a small English village from Dicken's era.  

Lights are on at the Pickwick Club.

 Scrooge choosing money over love.....*snif*

The Ghost of Christmas Present forcing Scrooge to drink from the cup of human kindness...hey at least they fixed last years problem....remember this?

Drink!  Drink up!!  Last year we were all hysterical b/c Scrooge's head was bobbing back and forth making it look like....well you know!

Ok, enough of that!  I'll clean it up now!  Next was the Light Show which is held in the grand hall of Macy's.  At one time there used to be fountains which moved along with the music, but I think it got to expensive to do that and they stopped them sometime back in 2001.  Over the last 10 years parts of the display disappeared because it was literally falling apart, but now everything has been replaced by newer technology, but still being respectful of the original design of the show.

Below are some photos of Macy's all decorated for the holidays.  I have to admit, the John Wanamaker building, where Macy's is now located, is one of the most beautiful in the city.

Its the Believe-O-Meter!  Santa wont come unless u believe!

 The Wanamaker Eagle!

Next, we went underground to Suburban Station, which was decked out in its holiday finest...

 Last, but not least, we arrived at the Comcast Center where they have the most incredible 3D Holiday Show
Watching this was making me a little dizzy, it made it feel like you were on a fast moving sled.

Some mesmerized viewers at the Comcast Center

Some folks climbing higher to get a better view of the show!

Afterwards we headed out to Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant for some food and merriment!  I was exhausted by the time I got home, but it was well worth it because now I have wonderful memories of friends and fun.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Looks like a fun time! Some spectacular lights! And glad to hear that Scrooge is out of the BJ Biz.

SUZY8-TRACK said...

HA HA!!! I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe last year. This year they had people, dressed in Dicken's Era clothing, posted at different stations monitoring the visitors..BOO! It is always such fun and everyone is in such a festive mood. We always go out for food and drinks afterwards, which is my favorite part of the tour. We unwind, laugh, and enjoy each other's company.