Yes, to Philadelphians this is still the Wanamaker Light Show even though America's most glorious cathedral of commerce (the old Wanamaker store) is now Macy's.
Well, I'm happy to report that Macy's has done right by Wanamaker's and by Philadelphia.
The Great Light Show looks better than ever.
The magnificent three-story Christmas tree is back and it's absolutely dazzling.
And the 12-minute show's narrator is now the great Julie Andrews. Most of the parts of the show that you remember are still there: Rudolph, Frosty, the Winter Wonderland, the Clock Shop, the Christmas Express. The reindeer have been updated and look wonderful this Christmas. Rudi the Christmas bear is present but his role has been diminished and he was never part of the original show anyway. Also, the story of Marie and the Nutcracker is gone but that is a tiresome and hopelessly tedious tale anyway. Still, Marie and figures from the story remain as part of the panoply.
What's important is that Macy's has done a wonderful job with the Light Show and the tree is an absolute joy to behold. During the light show, more than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights combine to create fantastic Christmas images. The lighting display is accompanied by festive music from the world-renowned Wanamaker Grand Organ.
The Great Christmas Light Show is a 53-year-old tradition in Philadelphia and it's looking better than ever. Shows begin on the hour. Store hours vary by day during the holiday season. Call the store directly for exact info: (215) 241-9000.
BTW: For many years the store displayed a large lighted message below the Light Show that declared "Merry Christmas" in elaborate script and displayed the time of the next show. We were sorry to see that the "Merry Christmas" greeting is gone.