The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce is reimagining what the holidays mean this year by launching the first-ever “Chester County Hospital Lights Up Holiday Weekends in West Chester.”
The borough’s historic streets will be transformed into a winter wonderland and bathed in the glow of thousands of holiday lights every evening from Nov. 26 to Jan. 1. Sponsored by Chester County Hospital, each weekend will feature new outdoor activities, shopping, and dining.
The month-long celebration is in place of the West Chester Christmas Parade, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Production of this year’s parade, which requires a year of planning, was dependent upon vaccine distribution and the return to in-person events.
“Our focus this year is to provide an extended chance to enjoy dozens of family-friendly festivities throughout the holiday season that focus on strengthening community and joy,” said GWCC President Katie Walker. “Chester County Hospital Lights Up Holiday Weekends in West Chester offers a safe way to celebrate the holiday season while supporting the local businesses we love and need so much.”
Beginning Friday, Nov. 26, thousands of lights are planned to illuminate block after block, followed by the much-anticipated tree lighting on the steps of West Chester’s historic courthouse on Dec. 3.
“As title sponsor, Chester County Hospital is thrilled to draw visitors from throughout the region to enjoy our businesses, culture, and people in downtown West Chester. We know everyone is eager to support local business during this time,” said Chester County Hospital CEO Michael J. Duncan. “Throughout the pandemic, our team has been so touched by the generosity and support from our local businesses and community. It is an honor to join the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce in this event as a way to show our sincere gratitude. We look forward to sharing the festivities with our friends, families, and neighbors this holiday season!”
Chester County Hospital Lights Up Holiday Weekends in West Chester is being coordinated in partnership with the West Chester Business Improvement District, as well as a dedicated group of hard-working volunteers led by Christy Cosgrove, owner of La Difference Salon & Day Spa.
A sneak peek at plans to raise spirits and business includes the free, outdoor Making Spirits Bright Holiday Music Series each weekend, Santa’s arrival on a fire truck each weekend, and:
- Shop Small Business Weekend: A celebration of small business shopping and dining as streets light up for the first time, carolers sing the songs of the season, and shops unveil festive décor.
- Old-Fashioned Holiday Weekend: High Street between Gay and Market streets becomes a pedestrian mall to welcome visitors. A flick of the switch illuminates the night during West Chester’s beloved tree-lighting ceremony with music from the West Chester University Marching Band, a cappella group Under A Rest, and West Chester Area School District Elementary Honors Chorus.
- First Responders and Healthcare Heroes Weekend: Healthcare heroes are honored with a “dine and donate” to local fire departments, police, first responders, and more.
- ‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas: Plans may include a last-minute shopping dash, gingerbread cookie creations, holiday music, and more!
- Happy New Year Weekend: Plans are still underway for the final weekend of festivities to ring in the New Year!
Sponsorships are available. Benchmark Federal Credit Union, CTDI, First Bank, Lamb McErlane PC, MacElree Harvey, Rothman Orthopaedics, Tolsdorf Oil Lube Express, West Chester Business Improvement District, West Chester University, and West Pharmaceutical Services are among the first to secure sponsorships.