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From the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation:
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest brightens up the holiday season with the Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by PECO on Dec. 1, 2017 from 6 – 9 p.m. This year, multi-award winning R&B songstress Chanté Moore will headline the event, singing songs from her first-ever Christmas album, “Christmas Back To You,” which consists of classic remakes and original songs alike.
Festivities continue throughout the night with performances by the a cappella men’s group After the Bar, Victorian-style carol singing from The Village Carolers, gospel artist Vanessa Howard singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, bell ringing harmonies by the The Philadelphia Handbell Ensemble, and Faith and Favor Band, a Caribbean gospel group. In addition local synchronized skating team Philadelphia Symmetry and 2015 U.S. Adult Figure Skating Dance Champions Shay and Yovanny will take to the ice for exciting performances. The evening culminates in the flipping of the switch on one of the city’s largest holiday trees (40 feet tall!) with tens of thousands of lights, followed by a fireworks toast, thanks to PECO’s sponsorship. The tree, grown at a farm in the Lehigh Valley, was graciously donated by Kiefer Landscaping out of Saucon Valley/Center Valley, Pa.
Off-stage, families and friends can enjoy a very special photo-op in a new life-sized snow globe complete with reindeer, glowing trees and a snowman. Other family portrait opportunities include the classic Santa photo, this time in the oversized Visit Philly red chair. In addition, the Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by PECO will include free face painting and mini wreath-making workshops, as well as giveaways of ornaments, Santa hats, reindeer headbands, and candy bags while supplies last.
The celebration of the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by PECO continues throughout the weekend with two brand new events — the Winterfest Marketplace and Storytime at The Lodge presented in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Winterfest Marketplace features some of Philly’s talented artisans including Soulistic, Bole Lig, GG Afrikan Boutique, Live Decent, Mayaz Boutique, The Sable Collective, Latin Crafts, and the Jamaican-American food truck, Grubaholics, on Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 2 and 3) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The new Storytime at The Lodge series runs every Saturday throughout the season from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. with rotating storytellers reading both holiday classics and new kids books for ages 3-7. Light snacks, hot chocolate, and the book of the week will be provided free while supplies last. To round-out the weekend, visitors will also have an opportunity to Skate with Santa on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. — a tradition that continues through Dec. 17.
Both skaters and non-skaters can sit down for a feast from Chickie’s and Pete’s including the world famous Crabfries with cheese sauce, Boneless Wings, Philly Cheesesteaks, and a rotating selection of hot soups. Garces will be serving up burgers, including the new Impossible Burger, fried chicken sandwiches, and the summer hit – chicken fried pierogis. New this year is the Rinkside Café and Portside Pizza, featuring festival-style foods that round out the savory selections at Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest.
For those with a sweet tooth or a little bit of nostalgia, Franklin Fountain Confectionery Cabin soda jerks will have Jefferson’s Drinking Chocolate, ice cream and waffle sandwiches, and the ever popular s’mores kits made with bean-to-bar chocolates from Shane Chocolate Works, and homemade marshmallows and graham crackers. New this year at the Rink Side Café are fried Oreos and funnel cakes, including the funnoli – a funnel cake topped with cannoli filling.
For those looking for a little something hot and spiked, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will feature two different bar locations throughout the Lodge at peak times. The craft beer program will highlight local and regional beers, with the return of the popular Lodge Cabin Lager by Sly Fox Brewery. Hot cocktails include spiked hot chocolate, apple cider from Linvilla Orchards, and coffee. The featured cocktail is the Hot Apple Pie made with hot apple cider, Jim Beam Apple, caramel, whipped cream and crushed graham crackers.
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest’s Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by PECO is one of the biggest nights of the season and great for families, friends, or a date night. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is proud to work with PECO again on this beloved holiday event. For more than 20 years, PECO has proudly supported DRWC’s events and programs, such as the PECO Multicultural Series. This year’s sponsorship of Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest expands PECO’s support of DRWC’s innovative programming, helping keep the season warm and bright for families in the Greater Philadelphia region.