Christmas Day was something of a bonanza for homeless and impoverished Philadelphians who showed up in Kensington at Hagert Street under the El. Coats from a coat drive had gifts tucked into them, and volunteers were handing out food from breakfast through the afternoon. Some ate lunch at nearby St. Francis Inn, where there was also a tree and live music. Those in front of the Last Stop recovery house met Margaux Murphy of the Sunday Love Project, which recently got national attention — and a deluge of new donations — on the Rachael Ray Show.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, the celebration of African American culture that runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. It also marks the year the City of Philadelphia will officially recognize the occasion, according to Jack Drummond, director of Philadelphia's Office of Black Male Engagement, who says part of the goal is to put Kwanzaa "on many people's radar." Next year the city plans to host a presentation of the kinara, the candle-holder that's symbolically lit during the holiday.
What was on your table for Christmas dinner? All families who celebrate the holiday have their own traditions, but what’s most likely to be served on Dec. 25 can vary depending on where you live. We looked at Google Trends data for the week before the holiday to find out which recipes are spiking in searches — here's how that changes across the state.
On the Calendar
Get ready for New Year's Eve with a two hour Latin dance lesson on the second level of this Templetown lounge. Start with fundamentals at 8:30, move to footwork at 9, then finish up with partnerwork before the floor opens for partying and pics. Drink specials all night.
Where: Master Bar & Restaurant at 1535 N. Carlisle St. 19121
When: December 26, 2016 at 8:30 p.m.
How much: $12 includes lessons
Largest anywhere? That's the claim, anyway. Pick from four skate sessions at this Mayfair rink and get ready to toss some snowy ammunition. Also look for face painting, tattoos and Olaf from Frozen.
Where: Rolling Thunder Skating Rink at 7017 Roosevelt Blvd.
When: December 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
How much: $5 admission (skate rental extra)
Fox & Son Fancy Corndogs will open its Reading Terminal Market stand soon, but you can get an early preview at this pop-up. Holiday mashups include a latke-battered dog served with applesauce and a sweet potato-battered dog with cranberry aioli. Pair 'em with $4 cans of Sly Fox all night. Proceeds benefit CookForSyria.
Where: Garage North at 100 E. Girard St. 19125
When: December 28, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
How much: Pay as you go
This South Philly woodworking studio is hosting a series of BYO woodcraft classes. This edition leads you through the steps of creating heart wall art, so you'll leave with new decor for your home (or a late gift). Sign up in advance to guarantee a spot.
Where: OFC Philly at 1918 S. Bancroft St. 19145
When: December 29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How much: $25
Day 5 of Kwanzaa is all about Nia ("purpose") as it relates to rebuilding the African American community across the nation. Family-friendly activities include candle-lighting, arts and crafts, face painting, games and song and dance.
Where: African American Museum at 701 Arch St. 19106
When: December 30, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How much: Free with admission ($14 adults, $10 kids)