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Season's Cheer Skates in Aboard 24th Santa Express

by Manny Smith, Kristin Geiger and Andrew Busch
Public Information Managers

At the North Pole, Santa relies on a sleigh. But in Philadelphia, he kicks off the holiday season with a ride aboard SEPTA's subway to shuttle-in Center City's Christmas Cheer.

For the 24th year, thousands of holiday revelers, young and old, joined Santa, Mrs.Claus, their elves with a band of merry musicians and SEPTA Employees for the annual "Santa Express" train excursions into Center City. On a bright, but frosty Black Friday morning, six specially decorated trains departed from Warminster, Media, Elwyn, Upper Darby, Frankford and Fern Rock. Each train rolled merrily into Center City with singing and caroling the entire route. More than 1,000 young travelers aboard the trains were surprised with a gift bag containing holiday treats and goodies provided by SEPTA and our partners -Center City District, Free Library of Philadelphia, Macy's, Herr's, Dunkin' Donuts, PHLASH, Rothman Institute, Philadelphia 76ers, Arden Theatre, The Gallery, Walnut Street Theatre and Visit Philadelphia.

Thanks to the "magic" of SEPTA, all six trains arrived simultaneously in Center City at the new transit entrances at Dilworth Park, where the band of merry travelers headed to the Rothman Ice Rink. The park, recently transformed into a welcoming community space after years of renovation, serves as a distinct gateway to mass transit with dramatic new entrances to the SEPTA's Broad Street Line, Market-Frankford Line and Trolley Routes. "Now with new world-class spaces above and below, SEPTA looks forward to creating new holiday memories with generations to come." said General Manager Joseph M. Casey.

This was the first year that "Santa Express" used Dilworth Park as its destination, and St. Nick embraced the opportunity to delight the festive crowds not only on the rails, but also in the rink, where he strapped on skates for a few spins.

With smiles and cheer all-around, the 24th Santa Express was declared a success by all, and planning is already underway to present the program for its silver anniversary again next year.


Families Await Santa's Grand Appearance at SEPTA's Frankford Transportation Center.



Santa & Mrs. Claus Begin Their Journey Into Center City with an Escalator Ride at Frankford Transportation Center.



Santa & Mrs. Claus Stopped to Talk and Take Photos with Every Child Aboard the Market-Frankford Line Train.



A Joyful Crowd Celebrated Santa's Merry Arrival at 15th Street Station.



After a Train Ride, Santa Skated on The Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park to the Crowd's Delight.