Manayunk residents and visitors marked the official start of the holiday season with a holiday tree lighting and ‘White Friday’ event this weekend.
The festive group gathered at Canal View Park on Friday to sing Christmas carols led by the Salvation Army Brass Band and the B101 radio station.
Jane Lipton, Executive Director of the Manayunk Development Corporation, led Christmas themed trivia before the tree lighting. Candy, hot chocolate and coffee were given to guests as the crowd awaited the lighting ceremony and the arrival of Santa.
The event has been held in Manayunk for the past 20 years. Councilman Bill Green and Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. were both in attendance this year.
Just after 6:30 p.m., Councilmen Green and Jones joined Jane Lipton on stage to pull the lever inside a Christmas present which lit up the 12-foot tree. Kadence Niell sang classic Christmas songs while Santa and his team of brides, all wearing Nicole Miller dresses, arrived in a limousine.
After the event, pictures were taken with Santa and his brides while locals admired the tree. On his way out, one local resident noted, “this was the best one I’ve seen yet.”
William Simpson, Natavan Werbock and Kaylin Cullen are students at the University of the Arts. This piece was produced as part of the collaborative media program of The University of the Arts and WHYY/NewsWorks.