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In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia gained an international reputation for being a pretty quirky place, thanks to an underdog championship boxer movie character, dueling cheesesteak purveyors, the Mummers and, well, a cracked Bell. It seems the 21st century will continue to propagate that fun-loving mystique with strange and wonderful annual events held every month of the year. Here’s a look at the city’s quirky side:
- The perpetually sold-out SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Wing Bowl 21 pits amateur speed eaters against one another in a race to see who can gobble the most chicken wings
For more information on all of these stories:
Nation’s First Thanksgiving Parade Gears Up For Its 94th Annual Run In Philadelphia
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Philadelphia is home to one of the nation’s favorite holiday traditions: the Thanksgiving Day Parade, taking place this year on November 28 beginning at 8:15 a.m. Almost a century after Philadelphian Ellis Gimbel created the Thanksgiving Day parade as a marketing tool to kick off the Christmas shopping season, the city that first introduced the turkey-day festivities will again celebrate the start of the season in grand style
On January 1, 2014, the Mummers will make their 114th march up Broad Street in the city’s annual New Year’s Day parade, a spectacle that’s in full view in Visit Philadelphia’s Behind the Sequins: Showtime for the Philadelphia Mummers video series. Six free-standing videos tell the Mummers’ story through the people who make the costumes, choreograph the routines, build the sets and march in the parade.
There are two components to the day-long parade, much of which is documented in the 90-second videos: a festive march up Broad Street that begins in South Philadelphia and ends at City Hall...
New Year’s Day is about celebrating, and there’s no better place to fete than at Philadelphia’s Mummers Parade, a 114-year-old tradition in which 10,000 men and women dressed in colorfully lavish costumes twirl, sashay, pirouette and strut up one of the city’s main streets. An unforgettably wild ritual, the parade and subsequent performances are all family friendly, yet exciting enough to entertain everybody. While a carnival-like atmosphere welcomes anyone who decides to stop by at the last minute, a little advance preparation guarantees a clear view. Better still, spending the night in the city ensures an early start to the...
Philadelphia boasts many holiday traditions that locals and visitors delight in year after year (Macy’s Christmas Light Show, Pennsylvania Ballet’s The Nutcracker and the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade), but this year revelers can partake in new activities that are sure to become beloved traditions. There’s the all-new Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show, a sparkling holiday tribute to Ben Franklin; the addition of a pop-up restaurant and shop at the Blue Cross River Rink; and the Nutcracker Market, featuring hand-made arts and crafts from American artisans.
Here are 32 ways to celebrate the holidays in Philadelphia:...
Dark winter nights turn glittery and bright with holiday lights that shimmer and shine all across Philadelphia and The Countryside®. With new displays at Franklin Square and the Blue Cross RiverRink, the season takes on a magical glow as a number of local attractions and neighborhoods pump up the power and light up the skies with sparkling colors and elaborate light displays like these shining examples:
Bright Lights, Big City:
- The holiday magic at Ben Franklin’s namesake park begins with the new Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle: A Holiday Light Show, featuring a 10-foot-tall kite made of lights
There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Philadelphia is home to one of the nation’s favorite holiday traditions: the Thanksgiving Day Parade, taking place this year on November 28. Almost a century after Philadelphian Ellis Gimbel created the Thanksgiving Day parade as a marketing tool to kick off the Christmas shopping season, the city that first introduced the turkey-day festivities will again celebrate the start of the season in grand style with the 94th annual 6abc Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Beginning at 8:15 a.m., 19 marching bands, dozens of celebrities and floats and thousands of performers...
Art lovers, garden enthusiasts, film connoisseurs and sports fans keep coming back to Philadelphia year after year for festivals, athletic events, art shows, parades and cultural events galore. Here’s what’s going on in the region in 2014:
- Thousands of decorative strutters kick off the New Year by marching up Broad Street in the festive daylong Mummers Parade that ends with the Fancy Brigade Finale at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. January 1. phillymummers.com
- The region gets revved up in 2014, thanks to the Philadelphia Auto Show. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with
When the winter holidays approach, Philadelphia’s art- and treasure-filled stores answer the harried calls of stumped shoppers in search of the perfect gifts. Have a parent who has it all, a partner who’s more than picky, plus siblings, neighbors and colleagues all expecting presents? These dozen museum shops, galleries and boutiques have stocked up on goods that do more than aim to please. They promise it.
The Spot: American Institute of Architects (AIA) Bookstore, 1218 Arch Street and
105 S. 7th Street (at the Charter High School for Architecture and Design), (215) 569-3188, aiabookstore.com
The Goods: With walls lined
Philadelphians love their festivals. Whether it’s local artisans and craftspeople sharing their wares on Penn’s Landing, a celebration of the fall season in Midtown Village, a traditional Yoruba-style street fair on South Street or a craft beer party on East Passyunk Avenue, there’s always a reason to celebrate in neighborhoods in and around Center City. The following are some mark-the-calendar happenings for 2013:
Benjamin Franklin Parkway:
- For the third year running, the Philadelphia Science Festival will unleash 10 days of exploratory exhibitions, lectures, debates and hands-on activities on campuses, museums and other venues around the city, culminating
After receiving a perfect score on the Human Right Campaign’s first-ever Municipality Index, Philadelphia continues to prove that it’s still one of the best destinations for LGBT travelers looking to get their history straight and nightlife gay.
“The heart of Philly’s Gayborhood may be centered on 13th and Locust Streets, but there are plenty of LGBT-friendly reasons to visit throughout the region,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), which in 2013 will commemorate the 10th anniversary of its groundbreaking LGBT advertising campaign with the memorable tagline Philadelphia – Get Your History Straight And Your...
Experienced cooks and novices looking to create an Easter meal or Passover Seder can head to Philly Homegrown™’s visitphilly.com/food for information on where to buy the freshest local ingredients and recipes on how to use them. Here’s a look at what’s cooking in April on visitphilly.com/food:
For Passover, foodies will find:
- Bakeries selling locally baked matzo
- Restaurants offering Seder catering options
- How Chef Michael Solomonov of acclaimed Israeli restaurant Zahav does Passover, along with his Charoset recipe using local apples and honey
For Easter, the site features:
- A round-up of local bakeries (think South Philly legends Termini Bros.
Shoppers making their lists and checking them twice can give the gift of Philly this holiday season thanks to new lines offering Philadelphia-inspired goods. From retro tees and soft pretzel-adorned onsies to authentic sports gear and Liberty Bell-emblazoned chocolates, the gifts are perfect for Philly fans of all ages and persuasions. Here’s how gift givers can show some Philly love this holiday season:
- Retrophilly.com: This newly launched online boutique pays homage to Philadelphia neighborhoods, schools, nightclubs, restaurants and more from the 1950s through 90s—think The Black Banana nightclub, St. Maria Goretti High School, Electric Factory and The Arena for
Experienced cooks and Turkey Day novices eager to give their Thanksgiving dinner extra yum appeal can head straight to Philly Homegrown™’s visitphilly.com/food to score recipes for all aspects of their mammoth meal, which they’re encouraged to use local ingredients to prepare. Submitted by top local chefs, the recipes—from a classically prepared turkey to a not-so-typical oyster hash—will satisfy seafood lovers, vegetarians and others partaking in the annual dining feast. Here’s a look at what’s cooking in the Now in Season section of visitphilly.com/food:
- Appetizers: Oyster hash recipe courtesy of Mike Stollenwerk, chef/owner of Fish and Fathom Seafood House; blended
IgoUgo travel blog, a partner of Travelocity, named Philadelphia one of “10 US Cities with Tourism Sites to See” this month. The trip planning Web site called gophila.com, Greater Philadelphia’s official tourism Web site, “undeniably fresh” and “full of multimedia options” and went on to say, “But besides being up-to-date, informative, and easy to use … it’s just plain fun.”...
Mother's Day Marks Its 100th Anniversary In 2008: Philadelphia Resident Anna Jarvis Conceived National Holiday
To mark the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day, started by Philadelphia resident and West Virginia native Anna Jarvis to honor her mother Anna Marie, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and the Office of the City Representative are organizing the City of Motherly Love" celebration on Saturday, May 10, 2008. The open-to-the-public event will take place at 12:00 noon at the Wanamaker Building, where the first Mother’s Day celebration took place in 1908 thanks to Philadelphia entrepreneur John Wanamaker. (Another Mother’s Day commemoration took place simultaneously in West Virginia.) The building is located at 13th and Market Streets...
Couples seeking to sweeten up their sweeties with chocolate this Valentine’s Day have many delectable choices in Philadelphia and The Countryside. For starters, every weekend in February, Chaddsford Winery is inviting couples to sample sweet wines paired with chocolate from nearby Eclat Chocolate. And, when it comes to wine, chocolate and love, there’s little reason not to indulge in further temptations:
- With a name like Naked Chocolate Café, it’s no surprise locals are buzzing about the city’s newest confectionary shop. Already known for its frozen hot chocolate and Aztec drinking chocolate, Naked Chocolate cultivates the sensual
Real shoppers know museums are more than repositories of cultural exhibitions: museums, they know, make for excellent retail, and Philadelphia’s museums are no exception. With its amazingly dense array of distinguished, distinctive cultural centers, the Philadelphia area offers, by extension, seriously great shopping. In Philly, holiday shoppers can find Latin American folk furniture for sale near Old Masters. In Philly, nature ornaments inspire retail stampedes just steps from a trifecta of Wyeths. And only in Philly are slimy stocking stuffers up for the grabs just a few meters from the country’s most historic collection of medical oddities.
- Anatomical Stocking
In the spirit of the season, Philadelphia hotels are offering a number of packages chock-full of special perks, including event tickets, breakfast and free hotel parking. One hotel, the Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia, is even giving away free stays to 1 out of ever 10 lucky guests who book the special offer. All of the deals are perfect for those who want to enjoy the region’s holiday celebrations and festivities, including the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade.
Throughout The Holiday Season:
Elves and Eggnog
Hotels: Omni Hotel at Independence Park
Includes: 20% savings for two nights, breakfast, two eggnog cocktails,
Shoppers eager to purchase fun, unusual, creative or sure-to-be-coveted gifts this holiday season have plenty of pop-up shops to choose from in Philadelphia. From Black Friday through the new year, pop-up shops are popping up all over town for the weekend, for several weekends or even for the entire month. Gift givers can choose from garden-focused delights at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Pop-Up Shop at Chestnut Hill, crafty goods at the Blue Cross RiverRink’s Art Star Holiday Market Village or handmade gifts created by 50 artisans at the Pennsylvania Ballet’s first-ever Nutcracker Market at the Kimmel Center for the Performing...