November 19, 2020
The Philly Holiday Experience presented by Independence Blue Cross will feature new ways to celebrate the holidays while staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
A virtual tree lighting ceremony will be broadcast on 6ABC from the north side of City Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. to kick off the holiday season in Philadelphia. There will be no in-person event due to COVID-19, but people across the region can tune in from home to partake in the winter tradition.
It will feature recorded performances by three Philly-based artists: jazz singer Jessy Kyle, former "The Voice" contestant Julian King and recording artist Kathy Sledge.
Also, City Hall will feature an art installation, the Healing Heart Remembrance Wall, dedicated to the Philadelphians who lost their lives in 2020. Local artist Ife Nii-Owoo created the temporary installation, which will be located in the City Hall Courtyard. Look for the tree and installation beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Back for its fourth season, the Deck the Hall Holiday Lights at Dilworth Park will return Monday, Nov. 23. This year’s colorful light projection on City Hall’s west façade was redesigned to help enforce social distancing.
Unlike in past years when the light show ran at specified times, Deck the Hall Holiday Lights will play continuously throughout the evening on a 30-minute loop and without music. The hope is that it will keep crowds from gathering. The light show will start every evening at 5 p.m. and run through New Year's Day.
Across the city at another Philly landmark, there will be dazzling lights, too. Boathouse Row along the Schuylkill River will light up for the holidays on these dates:
Hanukkah: Dec. 10-18
Christmas: Dec. 19-25
Kwanzaa: Dec. 26-Jan. 1