Download Christmas Village's Press Kit for a full overview of the event
CHRISTMAS VILLAGE IN PHILADELPHIA PRESENTED BY NRG MOVES TO CITY HALL FOR THE 2016 HOLIDAY SEASON WITH A TRADITIONAL CAROUSEL, AN EXCITING HO HO HAPPY HOUR CONCEPT AND GREAT NEW VENDORS
1. General information
Philadelphia, PA – Christmas Village in Philadelphia presented by NRG returns to Philadelphia for the 2016 holiday season at an exciting new location. This year, Philadelphia’s largest holiday attraction will transform Philadelphia’s City Hall (1400 JFK Blvd.) into a traditional, open-air German Christmas Market, open daily between Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24, 2016 and Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, 2016. For the second time, Christmas Village in Philadelphia will open early for a special preview weekend on Saturday, November 19 and Sunday, November 20, 2016. Christmas Village will light up the City Hall Courtyard and Northern Apron with holiday sights and sounds featuring thousands of twinkling lights, festive Christmas decorations, a beautiful traditional carousel, live music at the main stage, children’s activities, a new Happy Hour concept and photos with Santa. Visitors will find high-quality international gifts, ornaments and decorations and are invited to warm up with a glass of warm mulled wine or hot chocolate while enjoying the great variety of European food and drinks. Admission is free. Prices vary for food, drink and other merchandise offered by vendors. Spread the cheer by following @philachristmas on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, liking Christmas Village in Philadelphia on Facebook and visiting the website at www.philachristmas.com.
Christmas Village in Philadelphia is presented for the fourth straight year by NRG. NRG staff will be onsite during the entire season to greet visitors at the market. The company’s annual Gingerbread Competition with local media celebrities is scheduled Friday, December 9, 2016 at 1:00pm. Later that evening, NRG will host a photo and autograph session with an official Eagles Player at 6:00pm. The following Friday night, December 16, Eagles mascot Swoop will leave his nest and wander through Christmas Village in Philadelphia.
“Christmas Village is such a wonderful Philly holiday tradition,” said Mike Starck, general manager, NRG Retail East division. “NRG is so proud to once again help make Philly festive and bring the community together, this year in an exciting new location.”
Now in its ninth season, Christmas Village in Philadelphia has grown into one of the region’s most unique and charming holiday attractions. After breaking the attendance records with 700,000 visitors last year, organizers expect to attract more than 780,000 people in 2016. In the past, the event found a home in LOVE Park, but due to construction, Christmas Village in Philadelphia is making the exciting change to Philadelphia’s City Hall Courtyard and Northern Apron.
Eighty international merchants and artists are busy preparing high-quality and lovingly crafted gifts that will be sold in wooden houses and a big decorated tent that will pop-up throughout the famous City Hall. With ornaments, toys, apparel, jewelry, decorations, home goods, artwork and more, there will be something for everyone on Santa’s list.
Knowing the challenge of getting to and from Center City and the event’s location, Christmas Village in Philadelphia teamed up with Lyft as the official ride sharing partner for the new Ho Ho Happy Hour concept in 2016 to enjoy the market without the trouble of public transportation, traffic, or parking. New users can use the promo code XMASVILLAGE to enjoy up to $50 in ride credit. For more information click here.
Once again, Christmas Village in Philadelphia is accompanied by the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market, located at Dilworth Plaza, which presents local arts and craft vendors from the greater Philadelphian area.
Just follow the smell of gingerbread and waffles to a full menu of European food, sweets and drinks, including mouthwatering German bratwurst or schnitzel served on a roll (Brötchen). Look for special menu additions, including Döner Kebab (a German specialty featuring fresh meat shaved right off the rotisserie spit, placed in a warm pita pocket with tomato, onion, and our delicious homemade sauce) and try a warm mug of traditional German Glühwein (spiced mulled wine) or rich hot chocolate.
On top of the great shopping and dining experiences, visitors will enjoy a Wish Wall in conjunction with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, kid attractions on weekends, a photo spot at Santa's House, themed days and weekends, tasting tours with Chaddsford Winery, Ho Ho Happy Hours together with Lyft, live music during evenings and weekends on the events’ main stage and other new surprises to be announced.
New Holiday surprises for the 2016 season will include:
· This year, Christmas Village makes its debut at a new location since LOVE Park is under construction. Philadelphia's historical City Hall, with its Courtyard and Northern Apron, will be transformed into a festive Christmas wonderland
· The children’s entertainment program will include an improved kids corner with additional entertainment for the little ones. The highlight will be a traditional carousel as the center piece of the Courtyard
· Christmas Village in Philadelphia teamed up with Lyft and presents a brand new Ho Ho Happy Hour Concept with weekly food specials and deals on eating and drinks from Chaddsford Winery and the German Grill. Experience a funky stage program to take a midweek break and enjoy Christmas Village after work. Every Ho Ho Happy Hour has its own special, starting with “Irish Christmas” on the first Wednesday in December (12/7/16) featuring Irish Bands, Irish Appetizers and an Irish Photo Booth backdrop. Moreover, Tir Na Nog will open its doors for after-hour fun. For more information about the program please check the website http://www.philachristmas.com/events/weekday by mid-November.
· The vendor list will include crowds’ favorite vendors from the past, such as Käthe Wohlfahrt and Herrnhuter Stars, as well as new exciting German vendors like Steiff (high quality stuffed animals). All these vendors means the 2016 version of Christmas Village will offer one of the broadest varieties of gifts ever
· The 2016 version of the events Collectors Mug, in which hot chocolate and Gluehwein are served to young and old, will feature a new visual. Stay tuned for the new release of the design.
· Since Christmas is a feast for the whole family, Christmas Village in Philadelphia becomes more dog-friendly. Bring your dog to City Hall and take dog photos with Santa or relax at the dog fuel station with great treats from our dog vendor Kylie's Canine Treats
· The official opening ceremony moves to Sunday, November 27. The Christkind has a few new surprises to coincide with our new home at Philadelphia’s City Hall
· Special offers on food and drinks for all students on Tuesday will bring life into the monotony of the everyday school life
· Christmas Village in Philadelphia will host its first ever amateur Bratwurst Eating Contest at the main stage during the German Christmas Ho Ho Happy Hour on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 5:00pm.
After its preview weekend on November 19 and 20, Christmas Village will open Thanksgiving Day after Philadelphia’s annual Thanksgiving Parade on Thursday, November 24. The official opening ceremony is set for Sunday, November 27. Invite your family to meet the original Christkind from Nuremberg after she officially opens the market by reciting her traditional prologue. Take photos 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 bring back crowd pulling events such as the German American Weekend, a Charity Weekend and more. Check the schedule of events for more information (www.philachristmas.com/events).
A complete list of vendors, food and drink menus, themed weekends, special event details and promotions will be released in mid-November. Follow @philachristmas on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat or visit www.philachristmas.com for more information.
Preview Weekend: November 19 and 20
First Day: November 24
Opening Ceremonies Event: November 27
Last Day: December 24
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Thanksgiving Day: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Black Friday: 9:00am – 8:00pm
Christmas Eve: 11:00am to 5:00pm
1400 JFK Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19107
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NRG is the leading integrated power company in the U.S., built on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive electric generation portfolio and leading retail electricity platform. A Fortune 200 company, NRG creates value through best in class operations, reliable and efficient electric generation, and a retail platform serving residential and commercial businesses. Working with electricity customers, large and small, we continually innovate, embrace and implement sustainable solutions for producing and managing energy. We aim to be pioneers in developing smarter energy choices and delivering exceptional service as our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @nrginsight and @nrgenergy.
2. History of Christmas Village in Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s top Holiday tradition started back in 2008, when Christmas Village opened at Dilworth Park for the very first time. About 200,000 visitors of the initial year enjoyed the new concept of an authentic German Christmas market, which brought German food like Bratwurst and Pretzels as well as famous German ornament vendor Käthe Wohlfahrt along with other vendors from all over the world to the City of brotherly love.
After Christmas Village in Philadelphia gained ground in 2009, the market was opened by the original German Christkind in Nuremberg with a big opening ceremony in 2010 for the very first time. Another relocation in 2011 brought Christmas Village to LOVE Park, where more than half a million people enjoyed the 62 vendors.
In 2013 Christmas Village in Philadelphia was presented by NRG for the first time. This partnership has been a huge benefit to the market, since it opened a lot of new possibilities. NRG is on site during the entire season to greet visitors and even brought new events to life, like the annual Gingerbread Competition with local media celebrities and a meet and greet with official Eagle Players. Their support has been great over the years and it wasn’t a hard decision to team up with NRG again.
Since then, Christmas Village in Philadelphia made huge steps towards creating a more authentic look and feel of the event. Every year, new and exciting vendors were added and the decoration and light concept was improved. In 2015, Christmas Village was fully decorated with Herrnhut Stars (Moravian Stars) from Germany and from that moment on each second booth was topped with one of the large, illuminated stars, which shine bright across the City Center. This year, a traditional carousel can be found inside the Courtyard which facilitates the atmosphere of an authentic Christmas Village.
The event also took large steps in developing the general event concept by adding weekday entertainment in order to drive in more traffic during the week. So far, the most successful concept was the introduction of Wine Tasting Events, for which Christmas Village partnered with the local Winery Chaddsford. Held twice a week, those two-hour events, which required the purchase of pre-booked tickets, drove in visitors during the evening hours on rather slow weekdays. This year, Christmas Village in Philadelphia decided to focus on a special Happy Hour concept, called HoHo Happy Hour, and therefore teamed up with a new partner in the form of Lyft. On three Wednesdays (December 7, 14, 21) all visitors are invited to enjoy the market with a funky stage program and deals on mulled wine from Chaddsford Winery and food from the German Grill together with weekly food tasting specials. The HoHo Happy Hour lasts from 5pm to 7pm and all three Wednesdays have a different theme, a photo booth with changing backdrop and a great prize for raffle. Starting with “Irish Christmas” and Irish bands and appetizers on December 7, the second Wednesday focuses on “Philly Christmas” together with a local band and special tastings. The series ends with a “German Christmas” special on December 21, together with a Bratwurst Eating Contest. Having Lyft as a partner of the HoHo Happy Hour is a great possibility to remind people of public transportation, especially after tasting delicious mulled wine.
Further efforts to strengthen the event schedule included the introduction of kid attractions, the co-operation with the Make a Wish for a Charity Weekend, a German American weekend, a Lantern Parade and several other concepts.
Since its first year in 2008, Christmas Village in Philadelphia grew to be the areas largest Holiday event, with many fans from Philadelphia and other surrounding areas. During this period, Christmas Village in Philadelphia managed many relocations within the city. Initial concerns which came along with the new venues turned into a great success. That is why Christmas Village in Philadelphia is looking forward to opening at City Hall this year - to surprise the visitors once again.
3. Social Media Overview
· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philachristmas/
· Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/philachristmas/
· Twitter: https://twitter.com/philachristmas
· YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PhilaChristmas
· Snapchat: @philachristmas
Social Media handle: @philachristmas // Official event hashtag: #philachristmas
4. Special Events - Weekends and Weekdays
Preview Weekend - Nov 19/20
At the preview weekend visitors will have the chance to experience Christmas Village in Philadelphia a few days earlier. Here, they can walk through the authentic German winter wonderland while Christmas Village and its vendors are getting ready for the new season.
1st Weekend – Opening Weekend - Nov 26/27
On Sunday, Nov 27, we will officially kick off 2016’s Christmas Village Season. Once again we have invited the original German Christkind from Nuremberg/Germany, accompanied by official (Philadelphia) city representatives, to open our holiday event. Choirs and drumming bands will ensure an authentic and festive atmosphere.
2nd Weekend – International Weekend – Dec 3/4
On our second weekend we are focusing on international diversity. Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world, which makes Christmas an extremely interesting holiday. Watch for special attractions and entertainment programs during that weekend to celebrate international traditions together as one at Christmas Village in Philadelphia.
3rd Weekend – German American Weekend – Dec 10/11
On our third weekend, we will celebrate German American Heritage. German American Weekend will feature a variety of German style performances at the main stage and beautiful decoration items. Visitors will be sure to enjoy an authentic German experience with delicious German foods and beverages from the German Grill.
4th Weekend – Charity Weekend – Dec 17/18
The fourth weekend is once again focusing on the giving spirit that comes along with Christmas time. For our Charity Weekend, we will cooperate with Make a Wish again. All month long, our visitors will have the chance to donate by buying a hanger for our Wish Wall, which can be purchased at the events info-booth. After writing their personal wish on it, people can hang it up on our Wish Wall for everyone to be seen.
Weekdays will receive greater focus of our event programming 2016. We have planned different weekday programs to attract even more visitors and to make Christmas Village in Philadelphia an interesting weekday event as well. Following events will happen:
· November 30, 2016: Christmas Village in Philadelphia’s annual Lantern Parade together with Philly POPS and the Walnut Street Theatre
· December 6, 2016: Visit from St. Nicholas and his vicious companion Krampus
· December 7, 2016: First Ho Ho Happy Hour – „Irish Christmas”
· December 9, 2016: NRG’s annual Gingerbread Contest followed by a photo and autograph session with an official Eagles Player
· December 14, 2016: Second Ho Ho Happy Hour – „Philly Christmas”
· December 16, 2016: Visit from Swoop, the official Eagles mascot
· December 21, 2016: Third Ho Ho Happy Hour – „German Christmas” and the first annual Bratwurst Eating Contest
For detailed information about the daily schedules of the weekends as well as an overview of all weekday happenings, please check the preliminary event schedule or the website at www.philachristmas.com and Christmas Villages’ Social Media channels (FB, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat - @philachristmas)
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Press and Media Relations:
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