Friday, October 29, 2010

Philadelphia's In Lights for the Holiday Season

We love tradition when it comes to the holidays, so we were pleased to see two big traditions returning to Philadelphia this winter -- the Comcast Holiday spectacular and the revamped Lights of Liberty show.

The Comcast Holiday Spectacular
The Comcast Holiday Spectacular is back for its 3rd year at the Comcast Center, and we love this unique, no-cost, family-friendly tradition because it runs every hour on the hour to mark the holidays. This huge lightshow takes only 15 minutes, and packs lots of original holiday imagery, music and more onto a huge video wall that is said to be the world’s largest  4mm LED video display.

The wild and engaging show -- great for all ages -- includes everything from scenes from "The Nutcracker" to a magical sleigh ride through the snow-covered Pennsylvania countryside and into Center City Philadelphia, from the holiday sounds of a 64-piece orchestra, to the harmony of the Commonwealth Youth Choir’s Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir. The Comcast Center is located at 1701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Philadelphia and the lightshow will run hourly between 10am and 8pm between November 25, 2010 and January 2, 2011. 

Lights of Liberty
In another bit of tradition news, the 11-year-old "Lights of Liberty" attraction (pictured above) has been completely re-imagined, creating two separate shows: a year-round indoor and a summer-season nighttime outdoor attraction. The show, Liberty 360, takes the viewer on a journey past America’s most beloved symbols led by Philadelphia native Benjamin Franklin. Visual effects and stirring original music combine for a 15-minute, 3-D film adventure that surrounds the audience in the new customized state-of-the-art PECO Theater, inside the new Historic Philadelphia Center.

The theater has a fantastic 360-degree screen that is 50 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall, displaying 3-D pictures with an image resolution of 9.5 million pixels. For more seasonal fun outdoors, the exterior of the round PECO Theater is covered in Nilestrip LED that can be seen from the street, displaying ever-changing animations.  The Historic Philadelphia Center, a fun family attraction in itself, is located at 6th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia’s historic district, across the street from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. It's open daily from 9am – 7pm with some extended hours on weekends.

For 2011, running April through October, a new digital outdoor show called "The New Lights of Liberty Show" will take visitors on a starlit journey through Independence National Historical Park. Like a high-tech son et lumiere, the show is set on July 7, 1776, three days after Congress has approved the Declaration of Independence. Surround sound and high-tech imagery is sure to dazzle all ages.

For more information on Philadelphia and the region, contact the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (215/636-3300).

Photo Illustration by Rusty Kennedy for Historic Philadelphia, Inc.

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