PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Christmas Village in the heart of Philadelphia is open this season. Rows of brown cabins adorned with twinkling lights mean the holiday season has arrived at Love Park.
“The opening weekend has been strong so far, it’s been a good day,” said John Murray of The Irish Store. “And we’ve built history now, it’s almost like a destination event.”
Murray is a veteran of Christmas Village. He has been selling his traditional Irish hats and clothing at events for over a decade.
“I believe Christmas Village is like a family tradition in Philadelphia,” Murray said. “People are looking forward to it.”
The Morans hope to start their own tradition by bringing their 16-month-old daughter to experience all the holiday cheer for the first time.
Trevor Moran, of East Kensington, said: “Before we had her, that was the impetus for us to leave.”
In addition to making memories and looking around, families are warming up and enjoying traditional German food.
“I ate bratwurst,” Susan O’Brien said.
To wash everything down, a steaming cup of hot chocolate is a must in between family photos with Phil the Reindeer.
All the celebration brings some much-needed joy.
“Get out there and get some fresh air, walk around the crowd, just be happy,” O’Brien said.
“I do feel like there’s a buzz this year as if it’s coming back,” Murray said.
People are hoping to feel the festive cheer throughout the season before the village closes on Christmas Eve.