'A Very Philly Christmas' set to open in Fairmount Park

Hadas Kuznits
November 30, 2018 - 3:36 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The historic houses of Fairmount Park open to the public Saturday for a celebration that's being called "A Very Philly Christmas." 

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell explains you'll be able to visit the mansions to envision how the city's elite celebrated the holidays in the 1800's.

"We will have five of our historic houses that will be open for the holidays and decorated for the holidays," she said, "and we'll be doing tours of the houses and also special themed days."

Lovell explains these were vacation homes for the families who owned them.

"It's hard for us to believe that for the people that actually lived here, many of these were country homes for Philadelphians," she said, "So this wasn't Center City, this wasn't even the fringes of Center City. This was something that you traveled to."

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And while many of the Christmas decorations are pretty traditional, some of the volunteers took the liberty of updating some of the themes in the various rooms, including a Flyers-themed room at Lemon Hill Mansion featuring a cheese bust of team mascot Gritty.

"We knew that people would be interested in seeing it," Lovell said, so it's pretty wild and sort of petrifying!"

So why should people come check it out?

"It's just uniquely Philadelphian and I think it's something fun, something different to do," Lovell said. "You know, it's out of the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping and the holiday meal preparations.  You want to get out and do something that makes you feel good about your city and connects you to something historic."