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Sunday, December 16, 2018

About That Macy/Wanamaker Philly Light Show . . .




Once again this year, we enjoyed the wonderful Wanamaker's Christmas Light Show at 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 continues to do 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 and videos (though we try our best, above) simply do not do it justice. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. For one thing, the show rises nine stories high in the grandest open court of any store we've ever seen.
The magnificent multi-story Christmas tree is absolutely dazzling. In fact, the lights cover a dazzling ever-changing, living Christmas card.
And the 12-minute show's narrator is still the great Julie Andrews. Though some of you may remember that the show's original narrator was Philly's own revered TV newscaster John Facenda. The man with "the voice of God" can still be heard on old NFL films and he was the voiceover for that franchise for many years.
Anyway, most of the parts of the Macy's 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 LED 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 63-year-old tradition in Philadelphia (a city that cherishes tradition)and it's looking better than ever.
Shows begin on the even-numbered hours starting at 10 am. 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!"
Macy's Market Street windows also offer wonderful animated figures this year and the Dickens animated Christmas Village on the third floor is as wonderful as ever.
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.

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