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It’s a chance for Philly families to have fun and ring in the New Year together, a bit on the early side!
A special family-friendly New Year’s Eve countdown celebration will take place at Franklin Square on Sunday, December 31, starting at 5 p.m.
According to Amy Needle, president & CEO of Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the event will begin inside a heated tent.
“We have craft activities for kids, you can come and make a party hat, you can come and make a noisemaker,” she said, “you can also write a New Year’s Eve card to one of your friends and family.”
She said at 6 p.m. the fireworks show, which will be launched from the Philly waterfront, will be visible from Franklin Square, but right before the show begins a “welcome 2024 countdown” will take place, featuring a virtual light Square Drop.
“There are 49,152 LEDs that drop, there’s a square that’s actually dropping, we wanted to do a square for Franklin Square,” she said.
Eight-year-old Lee said he’s excited to be going to the New Year’s Eve celebration and he really likes fireworks even though he isn’t sure what will happen.
“The reason I don’t see them a lot is because, well, most of the time because our dog is really scared of them, also, I got scared a lot,” he confessed.
He said he’s also looking forward to doing arts and crafts at Franklin Square because it should really be fun.
Lee explained when he was younger he would use Play-Doh to stick wooden blocks together, “so ever since then I’ve been making a lot of stuff.”
Needle noted the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show will also take place every half hour, starting at 5 p.m.
“It’s obviously an ode to Ben Franklin, with lots of choreographed light and songs,” she said.
“New Year’s Eve is awesome for adults but we think it’s really fun for kids too, and Franklin Square is very much an amusement oasis for kids of all ages,” Needle added.
John Wilson, the Franklin Square director, said this event should be great.
“Everything we do over at the square is family oriented,” he said. “Kids events just seemed a natural fit for us.”
He said the celebration begins early enough so “families can bring their kids out and have a nice time together, and then go home and the adults can go out and do the traditional stuff they do at New Year’s Eve.”
Needle said the New Year’s Eve tradition began 17 years ago when Franklin Square was renovated, and some families come back every year.
“That’s so rewarding to hear because of course we want people to have wonderful things to do and celebrate in Philadelphia,” said Needle.
She said the New Year’s Eve event is free, and the carousel and Chilly Philly Mini Golf in Franklin Square will also be available, for a charge, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Historic Philadelphia Inc. also runs the Betsy Ross House, a museum where visitors learn that stitching America’s first flag is just a small part of the Betsy Ross story. The program documents how Ross was a courageous rebel, a working mom, a grieving widow, and a business owner.
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