From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!
Philadelphia’s holiday tree was officially lit at City Hall Thursday, providing Philadelphians a prime location to soak in the spirit of the season.
The tree was lit during 6abc’s evening broadcast, featuring American Idol winner and platinum-selling singer Jordin Sparks.
Thousands descended on Broad Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard to witness the tree’s lights brighten up the City of Brotherly Love.
Fresh from his retirement from the military, Kimo Laemoa was soaking in the holiday joy at the tree lighting and said he’s looking forward to planting his roots in Philly.
“The fact that I’m just getting out of the military and, you know, finding some kind of holiday tradition, trying to plant roots,” Laemoa said. “What better place than to do it in Philadelphia and in the heart of it all?”
Henry Rivera reflected on what the holidays mean to him during his first Philadelphia holiday tree lighting.
“Family,” Rivera said. “Family being together, we do what’s called Nochebuena. The night before, Christmas Eve, and all the families together, everyone does a family meal. Everybody comes over to celebrate. Kids fall asleep, they wake up, they continue Christmas Day, but it’s all about family.”
The concolor fir tree stands at over 50 feet tall and will be on display until Jan.1. It made its trek from Yule Tree Farms in Hornell, New York earlier in November.
The tree lighting was one of the featured events of the Philly Holiday Experience presented by Welcome America.
Last year’s celebration featured a tree measuring 55 feet tall and with 4,000 lights, with a headlining performance by Montell Jordan.
On Saturday, the Holiday Parade will kick off at 5 p.m. at 2nd and Market streets, and will proceed up Market Street, ending at City Hall.
Get daily updates from WHYY News!