Macy’s Christmas Light Show returns Friday — virtually

FILE - holiday lights are seen at Macy's in Philadelphia. The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, installed nearly 100 years ago in this location, is the largest operational pipe organ in the world. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

FILE - holiday lights are seen at Macy's in Philadelphia. The Wanamaker Grand Court Organ, installed nearly 100 years ago in this location, is the largest operational pipe organ in the world. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert at Macy’s in Center City is a tradition that dates back to 1956. Families could typically enjoy the four-story lightshow from the Grand Court surrounded by reindeer and music coming from the world-famous 29,000 pipe Wanamaker Organ.

This year, the Christmas magic is still on, according to Macy’s, albeit virtual.

The store remains open in Philadelphia but faces limits on how many people it can let in as coronavirus mitigation efforts remain in place. A spokesperson said the decision to go virtual is to ensure the safety of customers and employees.

Some 100,000 LED lights will still be on display, but people won’t be able to cram into the department store, as is tradition, to watch the 11-minute light show, which used to take place every two hours starting at 10 a.m.

In a typical year, some 175,000 people make their way to the old Wanamaker building to check out the visual display.

The light show will be available online, starting Friday and lasting through Christmas Eve.  So will Dickens’ Village, which takes audiences through scenes of A Christmas Carol.

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