Ho, Ho, Ho: Philly Ranks #1 for holiday cheer

Hey Philadelphians: Happy days are here again.

So says the US Airways-produced magazine tucked in the back seat of the passenger chair in front of any of the airline's travelers. Read all about it in this news release from Mayor Nutter's office:

Philadelphia, December 9, 2010 – The City of Philadelphia was ranked by U.S. Airways Magazine as being the best city to celebrate the holiday spirit. The City received the #1 rank out of 15 cities around the world in the Magazine’s December, 2010 issue. Since 1955, the Macy’s (formerly the John Wannamaker department store) Christmas light show in the Grand Court has been a Philadelphia tradition that continues to draw thousands of spectators from Black Friday through New Year’s Eve. New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, San Francisco and London were among the cities Philadelphia was compared to in the Magazine piece.

Visitors to Macy’s Grand Court can enjoy daily Christmas Light Shows that are presented every hour along with daily concert performances from the 106 year-old Wannamaker Organ that is registered as a National Historic Landmark. The Dickens Christmas Village on the third floor of the Macy’s building uses animated characters to tell the tale of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” and offers children an opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap.

“As we enjoy the excitement of the holiday season in Philadelphia, I hope the festive spirit will inspire residents and visitors to think about how they can spread goodwill,” said Mayor Nutter. “Donating to a food pantry or a toy drive, working with a community organization to distribute these items to neighbors and friends, or bringing holiday cheer to a senior center are some of the ways we can all embrace the spirit of giving back.”

Meryl Levitz, President and CEO of Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) said, “More than 36 million people visit Philadelphia every year and we want to extend a warm holiday greeting to them as they explore the city and enjoy the many sites and attractions that we have to offer.”

“Philadelphia is a generous, passionate, spirited city where everyone is welcome from around the globe. The holiday season has a special energy as the City of Brotherly Love is buzzing with visitors and locals,” said Jack Ferguson, incoming President & CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB).

In October, 2010 the American Planning Association (APA) named Rittenhouse Square one of the top ten great public spaces in the country. The APA honored Rittenhouse Square for a sensible design that includes a blend of stores, restaurants, other businesses and attractions with residences; its walkability and accessibility to public transportation; and a vibrant public park space that residents and visitors enjoy year-round. Travel & Leisure Magazine’s August, 2010 edition ranked The Rittenhouse Hotel as the #10 hotel in the Continental U.S.

To learn more about events, destinations, attractions and unrivaled hospitality in Philadelphia, please log on to www.visitphilly.com and www.philadelphiausa.travel.To learn more about volunteer opportunities, log on to http://volunteer.phila.gov/

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