Macy's in Philadelphia.
Yes, to Philadelphians this is still the Wanamaker Light Show even though America's most glorious cathedral of commerce (the old Wanamaker store) is now Macy's.
Well, we're happy to report that Macy's has done right by Wanamaker's and by Philadelphia.
The Great Light Show looks better than ever.
How can one possibly explain this show to those who haven't seen it?
Photos (though we try our best, above) simply do not do it justice. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world.
The magnificent multi-story Christmas tree is back and it's absolutely dazzling. In fact, the lights cover a dazzling nine-story high living Christmas card.
And the 12-minute show's narrator is still the great Julie Andrews.
Most of the parts of the show that you remember are still there: Rudolph, Frosty, the Winter Wonderland, the Clock Shop, the Christmas Express. The reindeer have been updated and look wonderful. Also, Marie and the Nutcracker figures from the story remain as part of the panoply. The old incandescent style lights are gone and are replaced by new, more vivid lights and colors.
What's important is that Macy's has done a wonderful job with the Light Show and the tree is an absolute joy to behold.
During the light show, more than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights combine to create fantastic Christmas images. The lighting display is accompanied by festive music from the world-renowned Wanamaker Grand Organ.
The Great Christmas Light Show is a 56-year-old tradition in Philadelphia and it's looking better than ever.
Shows begin on the hour. Store hours vary by day during the holiday season. Call the store directly for exact info: (215) 241-9000.
And, it's great to hear Julie Andrews say "Merry Christmas!"
BTW: For many years the store displayed a large lighted message below the Light Show that declared "Merry Christmas" in elaborate script and displayed the time of the next show. We were sorry to see that the "Merry Christmas" greeting and "next show" times are gone.
Once again, we request that Macy's bring back that added touch.
Photo copyright 2011 by Dan Cirucci.