On Black Friday, November 24, 2017, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest kicks off the holiday season with the reopening of an iconic Philadelphia winter experience. The seasonal park, presented by Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) and founding sponsor Independence Blue Cross, features a regulation-sized outdoor ice skating rink, chalet-inspired Lodge with food and beverages from Garces Group, Chickie’s and Pete’s, and Franklin Fountain, as well as a Kids Lodge filled with arcade games for the whole family to enjoy, all set within an enchanting winter forest on the waterfront with picture perfect views of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Blue Cross RiverRink, now in its 24th year as an outdoor ice skating rink and fifth season as Winterfest, sparkles at night from thousands of lights strung across the site, lighting that washes vibrant colors over the rink, and a majestic holiday tree dressed in tens of thousands of twinkling LEDs (over 100,000 lumens!). This season features a new gathering space at the north end of the rink topped by a canopy of lights and outfitted with heaters and cozy seating areas. More fire pits have been added to meet the demand from groups of families and friends looking for a special place to enjoy a lovely winter day next to a fire. In addition, new concessions have been added like pizza, pretzels, funnel cake and fried oreos to help accommodate those visitors looking for easier grab-and-go food options at a lower price point.
“Independence Blue Cross proudly celebrates 80 years in the community and nearly a quarter of a century helping people stay active and have fun through our sponsorship of the Blue Cross RiverRink,” said Yvette Bright, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Independence Blue Cross. “The additional Winterfest activities bring an extra element of excitement to the experience, creating a new tradition for everyone who visits.”
The winter wonderland experience would not be one of Philadelphia’s major winter attractions without a full season of programming. This year’s event schedule includes the Holiday Tree Lighting Powered by PECO, Skate with Santa, Storytime at The Lodge, New Year’s Eve Parties on Ice, the SugarHouse New Year’s Eve Fireworks on the Waterfront, Winterfest Brewfest, and more. With numerous entertainment options on-site, making a trip down to Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest an affordable and fun outing for everyone. In addition, the rink, Lodge, and cabins can be rented for holiday parties, winter get-togethers and birthday celebrations.
This holiday season, Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest will be participating in the new Philadelphia’s Historic District HoliDays & Nights seasonal celebration. From November 30 through December 31, the merrymaking spans museums, restaurants and shops between the Delaware River and 7th Street and Vine and Lombard Streets. As part of the festivities, the Snowflake Shuttle powered by PHLASH will offer free rides throughout the District Thursday through Saturday evenings, 6-9 p.m.
DRWC continues every year in its mission to program and develop the Central Delaware River Waterfront for all of Philadelphia and its visitors. By consistently producing innovative programming and design, the nonprofit provides new, authentically-Philadelphia traditions and public spaces that create a new era at the Waterfront.
Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest Sponsors
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 8.5 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including more than 2.5 million in the region. For almost 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
DRWC is a 501(c)(3) created in January 2009, exclusively for the benefit of the City of Philadelphia and its citizens. The fundamental purpose of DRWC is to design, develop, program and maintain public amenities such as permanent and seasonal parks, trails, and streetscape improvements to transform the waterfront into a vibrant destination for recreational, cultural, and commercial activities for the residents and visitors of Philadelphia as is consistent with the goals of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Daily programming throughout the entire year is changing the way Philadelphians see and converse about the waterfront, and is helping to create spaces and communities that connect residents and visitors to the waterfront.