CHRISTMAS VILLAGE IN PHILADELPHIA PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA ANNOUNCES RETURN TO LOVE PARK WITH PREVIEW WEEKEND, EXPANDED SEATING AND NEW BEER TASTINGS

Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by Bank of America will again transform LOVE Park (15th and JFK Boulevard) into a traditional, open-air German Christmas Market. Following last year’s 10th Anniversary, Christmas Village is back again from Thanksgiving Day and run through Christmas Eve, with a Preview Weekend on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18, 2018. Follow the smell of gingerbread and waffles to Philadelphia’s largest holiday attraction! Enjoy holiday sights and sounds with thousand of twinkling lights, festive decorations, live music, children’s activities and photos with Santa Claus presented by ACME. Come ready to shop for high-quality, international and local gifts and decorations. Warm up with a glass of warm mulled wine or hot cocoa while enjoying European food and drink. Watch for the return of theme weekends, specials events and wine tastings. Look for new surprises, like a new outdoor seating area (The Alm), a new Mascot Theme Weekend, expanded food offerings, and even more decorations. Admission is always free, with food, drink and shopping pay as you go. Spread some holiday cheer by following @philachristmas on Twitter and Instagram, liking Christmas Village on Facebook and visiting www.philachristmas.com.

Now in its 11th season, Christmas Village in Philadelphia has grown into one of the region’s most unique and charming holiday destinations – and one of the region’s top holiday attractions. Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by Bank of America, along with the Christmas Village Carousel in the Philadelphia City Hall Courtyard, The Made in Philadelphia Market and other holiday activities on Dilworth Plaza, has helped attract over two million people annually to Center City District. The economic impact of Christmas Village, and its sister festival The Made in Philadelphia Market, is felt throughout the city at hotels, restaurants and retailers – as visitors travel to Philadelphia from the suburbs, from across the country, and from around the world. After a shortened season in 2017 due to construction, Christmas Village organizers and the City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department expect record numbers for 2018 – with the largest turn-out ever for the market that has been named “Best in America” year after year.

“We are thrilled to see Christmas Village in Philadelphia returning to LOVE Park this year,” said Jim Dever, Philadelphia Market President, Bank of America. “LOVE Park is an iconic Philadelphia attraction, and we are proud to support the efforts the community has put into revitalizing this public space, offering the perfect location for attractions like this to be enjoyed by our clients and the community overall. We look forward to contributing to festivities and surprises that will be sure to delight visitors.”

“We are thrilled that the Christmas Village in Philadelphia tradition will return to LOVE Park again this year,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Christmas Village is full of holiday cheer, an abundance of high quality gift ideas, and fun attractions like live music and children’s activities. I am excited that this year’s Christmas Village will be even more spectacular than previous years thanks to additional seating, new decorations and beer and wine offerings plus new weekday programming.”

Get ready for holiday sips, sights and shopping as Preview Weekend is back! After a brief break in 2017, Christmas Village in Philadelphia will spread some early holiday cheer on November 17 and 18, 2018. This special two-day weekend gives tens of thousands of shoppers their first chance to experience the new layout for 2018 and meet the new season’s vendors.

This year, over 80 international and local merchants and artists will sell high-quality and lovingly crafted gifts in decorated tents and wooden houses that will pop-up throughout Philadelphia’s iconic LOVE Park. Across at Dilworth Plaza, Christmas Village organizers will also curate 50+ vendors at The Made in Philadelphia Market. Together, shoppers will have 130 reasons to skip the malls and shop in Center City this year. With everything from ornaments, toys, apparel, jewelry, decorations, home goods, artwork, sweets and more, there will be something for everyone on Santa’s list!

While you shop, follow the sweet scene of gingerbread and fresh-made waffles to the full menu of European food, sweets and drinks, including mouthwatering German Bratwurst or Schnitzel served on a roll (Broetchen). The huge outdoor grill hut will be back again for the second time, giving spectators an up-close view of the sausages firing up in front of their eyes! This time around, look for the debut of new Käsespätzle (soft cheese egg noodles freshly made in a huge cast-iron pan, decorated with onions) and different draft beers, including exclusive creations of Brewery Techne. Also, enjoy special menu additions, like Döner Kebab, Belgian fries, and try a mug of traditional German Gluhwein (spiced mulled wine served hot) and rich hot chocolate. The talk of the town – and one of the market’s most popular dishes – is also back for a second year: Look for the cheese booth to return with baked cheese and critically acclaimed raclette melted cheese. Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig Laban said, “The force of molten mountain is strong. Add cornichons, scallions & dijon on crusty bread and you may have the greatest Alpine sandwich ever.”

On top of the great shopping and dining experiences, visitors will enjoy a Wish Wall in conjunction with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, a photo spot at Santa’s House presented by ACME, themed weekdays and weekends, tasting tours with Chaddsford Winery and Brewery Techne, a HoHo Happy Hour on Wednesdays, and live music during week day evenings and most of the day on the weekend.

The full details for the new season will be released in early to mid November. In the meantime, enjoy this preview of new surprises and returning favorites for 2018:

* Christmas Village in Philadelphia will return to the newly renovated LOVE Park with additional decorations, upgraded layout and more event space to shop and stroll.

* The holiday season starts earlier than last year with the return of Preview Weekend.

* With the addition of beer to the market, look for the debut of a new outdoor beer garden and seating area called The Alm.

* Enjoy exclusive Wine Tasting Events in partnership with Chaddsford Winery or take part in one of our new Beer Tastings with Brewery Techne.

* Meet the original Christkind from Nuremberg/Germany when she opens the market within our Grand Opening Ceremony on November 25, 2018

* Come celebrate with the first-ever Mascot Weekend on December 1 and 2, 2018 when our very own mascot Phil the reindeer will invite his friends from “Mascots for a cure” to fight childhood cancer.
* Crowds’ favorite vendors such as Käthe Wohlfahrt and the Baked Cheese House (Raclette) are excited to come back while new vendors e.g. Mike’s Hot Honey, Lovepop and Momo’s Tree House will enrich the market for the first time.

* Don’t miss Germany’s favorite traditions in form of the German American Weekend on December 8 and 9 with German Dance Groups, a lantern parade and St. Nikolaus Day on December 6, 2018.

* Grab your friends and swing by our HoHo Happy Hour! Take advantage of discounted food, drinks and board game specials from newly opened Thirsty Dice in a relaxed after work atmosphere on Wednesdays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

“Christmas Village in Philadelphia has become one of the Philadelphia’s top holiday traditions – and we can’t be more thankful for the excitement and support we receive each and every year,” said Christmas Village President Thomas Bauer. “There is no better feeling than when we see the first families arriving on preview weekend and Thanksgiving morning. Planning Christmas Village is a year-round process and we love seeing it come to life in LOVE Park. Come celebrate and share in the holiday spirit of the season with our team. We will be waiting for you!”

Christmas Village in Philadelphia will open Thanksgiving Day after Philadelphia’s annual Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, November 22, 2018. The official opening ceremony is set for Sunday, November 25, 2018. Invite your family to meet the original Christkind from Nuremberg after she officially opens the market by reciting her traditional prologue. Grab a photo with her as she does her traditional walk through the market. In Germany, she is the person that brings the Christmas gifts to the kids, and she won’t be coming to Philadelphia empty handed! The remaining weekends will be filled with fun events such as a new mascot weekend, the well-known German American Weekend, the Make-a-Wish Weekend and more.

Follow @philachristmas on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.philachristmas.com for more information about the new holiday season.

Dates:
Preview Weekend: November 17 and 18, 2018
First Day: November 22, 2018
Opening Event: November 25, 2018
Last Day: December 24, 2018

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Thanksgiving Day: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Christmas Eve: 11:00am – 5:00pm

Location:
LOVE Park, 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

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