Christmas Village helps boost small businesses in Center City

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Nothing says Christmastime in Philadelphia quite like the setup at City Hall.

"It's pretty much like Small Business Saturday, shop everyday here because it's all local vendors. You can get anything and everything. Such unique gifts," said Sheila Hess, the city representative.

The 12-year-old tradition started with the transformation of Love Park to a German Christmas village.

"It turns our city to that winter magical wonderland," said Hess.

It's an atmosphere everyone, including vendors who call the area home all year round can enjoy.

"It gives us a lot of business, a lot of people walking by," said Ghulam Subahni, a food truck operator. "The lights and the crowd and the people and the holiday spirit, all that."

This year, the attraction is bigger than ever, in part because of a new Ferris wheel towering next to the tree.

While the rides, the shopping, and ice skating may be the reason so many people will visit the village this year, it's the unplanned moments in the hallways between attractions, that stop you in your tracks, and remind you what the holiday season really means.

While Rickey Turner, a musician from North Philadelphia played his violin, one woman began crying and then hugged him, thanking him for the tune.

"Apparently it was her favorite song, and it must've meant something sentimental because she was in tears," said Turner.

Christmas Village will be open until the new year.
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