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East Passyunk Ave. will be busy for the holidays

There’s a lot happening on one of South Philly’s busiest destinations this holiday season.

East Passyunk Avenue will kick off the holiday season with Shop Small, Shop Local on Small Business Saturday. And the momentum continues through December with plenty to do along the area that is home to more than 160 independently owned businesses in South Philly, including 19 newly opened businesses.

On Nov. 26, shoppers can join in on Small Business Saturday festivities by visiting various participating businesses featuring exclusive sales, special promotions and more, including:

A Novel Idea – Black Friday and Small Business Saturday offerings include Blind Date With A Book (mystery gift-wrapped reads from $5-$25).

Black ‘n Brew – Stock up on the annual gift card deal of an extra $5 for every $25 purchased, and take part in the Positivity and Peace Holiday Gift Drive benefiting Women Against Abuse from 10 a.m. to 3p.m.

Cartesian Brewing – Shoppers can enjoy 15 percent off their order by presenting proof of purchase from another local business.

Ill Exotics – Guests can expect 25-50 percent off select plants and reptiles and are encouraged to bring photos of their existing habitat if planning to adopt.

Latchkey – Show receipt from Small Business Saturday purchases at any local shop on East Passyunk and get $5 off new vinyl records.

Nice Things Handmade – The 12th Annual Ornament Show is on display featuring more than 30 local artists’ handmade ornaments, along with a free limited-edition gift with storewide purchases while supplies last.

Occasionette – First 50 people in the shop each day from Nov. 25-27 will receive a scratch off with a prize, plus get a $10 gift card for future purchase for every $100 spent.

South Fellini – For Black Friday get a free Fellini Beanie with purchases (while supplies last), on Saturday the first 30 customers get a free Wanamaker tote bag, and on Sunday get 50 percent off socks.

Super Loa – This freshly-minted retailer is offering 25 percent off the entire store filled with handpicked CBD products from the best in the industry (and all certified organic).

The Avenue will celebrate 19 small businesses that opened in the past year including Juana Tamale, Latchkey, MilkJawn, Cartesian Brewing, City Fitness, Mish Mish, Kouklet Brazilian Bakehouse, Super Loa, Whiplash Allure, Ocho Rios Parrilla and The Dutch.

“This holiday season, people’s commitment to shopping locally can mean a world of difference for our independent business community,” said Adam Leiter, executive director of the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District. “When you spend locally, your dollar goes further, making a personal and positive impact that resonates through Philadelphia’s small businesses.”

Shop Small, Shop Local is only the beginning of festivities on the avenue, as Deck the Ave also officially begins on Nov. 26, returning with tons of holiday happenings, including the East Passyunk Punch Card and Letters to Santa.

From Nov. 26 to Jan. 2, shoppers can receive a punch for each $10 spent at participating businesses. Once 10 punches have been received, submit the completed card to one of East Passyunk Avenue’s businesses and be automatically entered to win a weekly gift card from a raffle. 

Starting Nov. 26, deliveries to the North Pole begin as all are invited to drop off letters to Santa at East Passyunk Avenue’s North Pole Mailbox located at The Singing Fountain.

Once the calendar flips to December, another wave of festivities joins the fun. 

Photos with Santa, encouraged for both children and four-legged furry pals, will begin on Dec. 1 at the ceremonious Christmas Tree Lighting located at The Singing Fountain. Folks can bring their camera and take photos with Santa at no cost. Later that night, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will go from 5-7pm while taking in the celebratory sounds of Coppin Middle School HOME Band. Additional photo opportunities with Santa will take place on Dec. 3 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., Dec. 4 from 2-4 p.m. and Dec. 8 from 5-7 p.m. (pet-focused).

On Dec. 10, the Avenue hosts the Second Saturday Shop and Stroll/Hot Chocolate Crawl, which include holiday-inspired sidewalk sales, pop-up events and live entertainment, plus various hot cocoa and boozy-alternative chocolate creations available at numerous local restaurants, bars and cafés.

Hanukkah Happenings begin on Dec. 18 as the South Philadelphia Shtiebel will lead the community in celebrating the festival of lights with the annual Hanukkah Menorah Lighting at the Singing Fountain at 5 p.m. 

The East Passyunk Opera Project (ePOP) will be caroling from 1-6 p.m. on Dec.10, and Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society will perform a pair of shows including Dec. 3 and Dec. 17, plus additional dates with Dot Rose of Dottie’s Serenade Service, and singer-songwriters like Mike Dougherty and The Fourth Son.

Already underway is the 12th Annual Ornament Show – Presented by Nice Things Handmade, which includes more than 30 participating local artists submitting handmade ornaments for sale.

“The holiday season is a special one for us on East Passyunk Avenue as we’ve got an assortment of festive, new and returning events, shopping and music planned for everyone visiting the Avenue from near and far,” Leiter said. “We’re really looking forward to celebrating this cheerful time together, and welcome all to pay a visit to the Avenue throughout Deck The Ave for all types of gifting needs and holiday-centric entertainment.”

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