Mayor Kenney to reprise role as Buddy the Elf at Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle

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Mayor Jim Kenney will return as Buddy the Elf on Thursday, Dec. 15 to light a showing of the Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle.

One special elf will make his way back to Philadelphia next week, courtesy of Mayor Kenney.

Kenney will reprise his role as Buddy the Elf on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 5 p.m. to light a showing of the Franklin Square Electrical Spectacle in Center City. City Councilman Mark Squilla will also appear in costume as Santa Claus to help light the show, continuing a tradition the pair first began in 2013 with the first Electrical Spectacle, according to a release (Billy Penn, however, notes that the Santa/Buddy tradition may date back to as early as 2012).

Kenney's Buddy is a take on Will Ferrell's character in neo-holiday classic Elf. In the 2003 film, the human Buddy, raised at the North Pole, attempts to unite with his father (James Caan) when it's clear he doesn't fit in with the Santa's other helpers. No word yet if Kenney loves Santa as much as Buddy does.

Franklin Square’s Electrical Spectacle runs nightly through Dec. 31, and features more than 50,000 lights choreographed to classic holiday music. Shows, which are free, begin each day at 4:30 p.m., and run every half hour through 8 p.m. weekdays, and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Last year, Kenney made headlines with his Buddy the Elf getup that he donned at a holiday celebration at Burke Playground in South Philly in addition to an Electrical Spectacle lighting. Those appearances in full Buddy the Elf regalia came shortly after Kenney’s victory in last year’s mayoral election:

Buddy the Elf, however, is not Kenney’s only cosplay character. Kenney, who was a Mummer for 35 years, also made himself up as the Cat in the Hat last year for Dr. Seuss’ birthday:

Franklin Square kicked off its Holiday Festival activities back in November. This week, festivities include live ice sculpting on Thursday, a Frozen-themed night on Friday, and milk and cookies with Santa Claus on Saturday.

Find more information about the Franklin Square Holiday Festival here.