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The Lowdown: Comcast Center Holiday Spectacular

What you need to know about one of Philly's newest holiday traditions.

The Comcast Center Holiday Spectacular has been a new Philadelphia holiday tradition ever since the building opened in 2008. It’s now in its ninth year of music, dancing and holiday cheer, and you can see it every day this month.

 

Featured on the 2,100-square-foot video wall in the Comcast Center’s lobby, the 15-minute show is held every hour on the hour, throughout the holiday season, often attracting large crowds of families, especially on weekends. But even if the lobby is full, the screen is so large and high that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

 

Comcast has come up with a special program for the 2016 edition.

 

Comcast photo by Joseph Kaczmarek

The highlight is a ride, from the point of view of Santa’s sleigh, that travels through the ski slopes of Pennsylvania and through the clouds before arriving at snowy nighttime Philadelphia skyline. There’s also ice skating — with both people and penguins.

 

The show includes elements of past years’ editions, from the conductor at the organ at the beginning to the row of row homes at the end. But there’s plenty of new stuff, too.

 

This year’s show features performances from Philadelphia Ballet’s Nutcracker, musical selections from Carol of the Bells to Jingle Bell Rock to Auld Lang Syne and a brief performance by actors from the Walnut Street Theatre. There’s also skilled animation of everything from snowmen to those skating penguins.

 

The show ends with a singalong of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, an approximation of snow falling on crowd, and (in some shows) an appearance by Santa Claus himself.

 

The Comcast Center Holiday Spectacular, which is free, runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on the hour, at every hour except 5 p.m., at the Comcast Center (1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard) The show runs through New Year’s Day.

 

Photographs courtesy of the Comcast Center.

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