Deck the Avenue Returns: 13 things you should know

The holidays bring South Philly together on East Passyunk Avenue with a tree lighting, photos with Santa, QOTA, story times, and much more!

East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District (EPABID) and Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation (PARC) are again gearing up for a busy holiday season as their annual Deck the Ave event returns starting December 5.

“It’s about building a lifetime of memories,” says Adam Leiter, executive director of EPABID. “Generations of families have come to Passyunk Avenue for holiday shopping and dining. Deck the Ave honors old traditions while giving people new to the neighborhood a chance to plant emotional roots.”

A pop-up holiday market, and a punch card to give shoppers a chance to win prizes are among the new offerings in 2019. Here are 13 things you should know about this month’s happenings:

1. Tree lighting party & Deck the Ave kick-off

EPABID and PARC will kick off the holidays with a tree lighting on Thursday, December 5 at 5 p.m. at the Singing Fountain, Tasker Street and East Passyunk Ave.

Visitors will enjoy carolers from Alphabet Academy, music by students from Andrew Jackson School HOME rock band, and a visit from Santa Claus, who will help spread holiday cheer and be on hand to take photos with children and families.

New this year, look for an East Passyunk Pop-Up Holiday Market on the 1500 block, just north of the Singing Fountain. From 4:00pm to 8:00pm a variety of East Passyunk businesses will have holiday specials on-site, and a number of restaurants will have food and beverages, too.

After the lighting ceremony, members of the Philadelphia Mummers Pennsport String Band and carolers will entertain people on the avenue with seasonal songs and fun. For your holiday shopping needs, look for select shops to be open late to kick off the holiday shoppin g season.

East Passyunk’s Christmas tree lighting party is free and open to everyone.

2. Photos with Santa

Bring the kids down to meet Santa, bring your own camera and take pictures for free.

Thursday, Dec. 5
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Singing Fountain (following tree lighting)

Saturday, Dec. 14
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
1904 East Passyunk

Sunday, Dec. 15
12 p.m.- 2 p.m.
1904 East Passyunk

Saturday, Dec. 21
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Urban Jungle at 1526 East Passyunk
Doggie Day! Bring Fido for adorable pet photos with Santa. Bring your own camera and take pictures for free.

Sunday, Dec. 22
2 p.m.- 4 p.m.
1904 East Passyunk

3. QOTA Holiday Party

Thursday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Urban Jungle at 1526 East Passyunk

The most wonderful QOTA of the year is back! Come out and be merry with us as QOTA returns to Urban Jungle. Join us for a holiday garden party and enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks among the glittering trees, green plants and fabulous holiday decorations. Dress warmly! Urban Jungle will be selling Christmas trees and the front door will be open.

4. Passyunk Holiday Pop-up Choir

Saturday Dec. 7,  2 p.m.
Singing Fountain at Tasker St. and East Passyunk Avenue

Join in as part of the choir or simply come to experience this amazing pop up performance of the Händel Messiah Hallelujah Chorus and other new songs for 2019. Accompanied by live musicians and directed with sheet music and guidance from the incredible Justin Gonzalez, this event is not to be missed. Participation by the general public is open and encouraged.

5. Ninth annual ornament show opening

Saturday, Dec. 14 opening reception
11 a.m. – 8 p.m. with refreshments and cookies all day
Nice Things Handmade at 1731 East Passyunk

Back again with 20 + participating local artists submitting handmade ornaments, the ornament show is a great way to grab a keepsake for the holidays, a gift for a friend or to grab a smaller piece of art from one of your favorite local artists. The show opens December 14th and hangs until the New Year.

6. Carolers

Be on the lookout for festive carolers along the Avenue on Dec 14 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

7. Hanukkah Happenings

Join in the festival of lights on Sunday Dec 22 with the South Philly Shtiebel. More details coming soon.

8. Holiday Story Times

Perfect for families with young children or anyone who is young at heart. Holiday story hours will take place with tales both old and new hosted by A Novel Idea, Tildie’s Toy Box, and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Wednesday, Dec. 4
10:30 a.m.
Tildie’s Toy Box at 1829 East Passyunk Ave

Sunday Dec. 8
11 a.m.
A Novel Idea at 1726 East Passyunk

Wednesday, Dec. 11
10:30 a.m.
Tildie’s Toy Box at 1829 East Passyunk Ave

Saturday Dec 14
3 p.m.
Free Library of Philadelphia at EPABID Office at 1904 East Passyunk Ave

Sunday Dec, 15
11 a.m.
A Novel Idea at 1726 East Passyunk

Saturday Dec. 21
11 a.m.
Free Library of Philadelphia at EPABID Office at 1904 East Passyunk Ave

Sunday Dec. 22
11 a.m.
A Novel Idea at 1726 East Passyunk

9. Holiday Mummers

Saturday Dec. 21
4 p.m.–6 p.m.
Beginning at the Gateway at Broad Street and East Passyunk Avenue

Join members of the Philadelphia Mummers Pennsport String Band as they bring holiday merriment to East Passyunk Avenue.

10. East Passyunk Punch Card

From Nov. 29 through Jan. 5, receive a punch for each $10 spent at participating businesses. Once you get 10 punches, submit the completed card to one of the 40 shops taking part and enter to win a weekly gift card from a raffle drawing. Check out the list of participating businesses.

11. Jingle, Mingle and Shop Wednesday Evening

Look for many Avenue businesses to be open later hours on Wednesday evenings through the holidays with sips and treats available as you shop and chat.

12. Free Parking Saturdays

Metered parking is FREE after 11:00 a.m. each Saturday from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

13. Deck the Ave Decorations and Live Trees

Look for photo opportunities, twinkling lights and spirited scenes at individual businesses along the Avenue. Don’t miss stopping by the annual holiday display inside Urban Jungle – who will again have live Christmas Trees for sale.

For more information, visit the EPABID website, follow @eastpassyunk on Instagram and Facebook, @epassyunkave on Twitter, or call 215-336-1455.