Thanksgiving Weekend Is Brimming with Free Holiday Festivities in Historic West Chester

LightsUpSubmitted Image; Courtesy of West Chester Views

WEST CHESTER, PA — The historic borough of West Chester is about to illuminate with the first-ever Chester County Hospital Lights Up Holiday Weekends in West Chester. Thousands of lights will glow for the first time beginning Friday, November 26th during Shop Small Business Weekend, when West Chester will be brimming with free holiday festivities as well as great deals at the one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants that make West Chester so charming.

“West Chester truly is a real-life Dickens village all year long, and it’s about to get even more magical,” says Katie Walker, President of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, the organizer of Chester County Hospital Lights Up Holiday Weekends in West Chester. “We know that shipping delays are a concern once again this year. This is a chance to shop local in an unforgettable setting that’s full of holiday fun and joy.”

The festivities kick off on Shop Small Business Weekend, November 26-28, with block after block of holiday lights, gorgeous holiday window displays, 75 decorated lamp posts and free street-level parking all weekend long. On Black Friday, the Professional Gingerbread House Competition is unveiled to celebrate the holidays with a nod to West Chester. Local artisanal bakers will display their masterpieces at select locations including:

On Friday and Saturday, enjoy West Chester’s Merrie Minstrel Carolers as they stroll through the borough and greet visitors 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

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The weekly Making Spirits Bright Holiday Music Series launches Saturday at 2 p.m., featuring the Uptown Singers outside the Historic Chester County Courthouse on 2 North High Street.

Saturday at 3 p.m., Santa is coming with a nostalgic tour through the borough on a fire truck, just like when mom, dad, grandma and grandpa were kids.

On Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy free hot chocolate and coffee at Visual Expansion Gallery located at 132 North High Street.

On Sunday, the free street-level parking continues all day as West Chester holds its much-anticipated Menorah Lighting at the Historic Chester County Courthouse on 2 North High Street at 4:30 p.m.

Chester County Courthouse
Submitted Image

“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,” says Michael J. Duncan, President & CEO, Chester County Hospital. “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!”

“The West Chester Business Improvement District is proud to be a partner in bringing these events to life. Our community has been apart for too long, and we are excited to provide opportunities to get everyone together to celebrate the holidays. When you visit, please make sure to support our great local small businesses!” says John O’Brien, Executive Director, West Chester Business Improvement District.

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Lights Up
Submitted Image; Courtesy of West Chester Views

It’s just the first of 5 holiday weekends that will sparkle in West Chester. Don’t miss:

12/03 – 05:  Those who make it a tradition to visit West Chester every holiday season will look forward to an Old-Fashioned Holiday Weekend. It begins Friday evening with the traditional tree lighting ceremony on the steps of West Chester’s Historic Courthouse on December 3, featuring surprise guests and live music from the West Chester University Gospel Choir, West Chester University Marching Band, a cappella group Under A Rest, and West Chester Area School District Elementary Honors Chorus. The professional gingerbread house competition will be in full swing. Did we mention Breakfast with Santa and a Holiday Market at the History Center?

12/10 – 12:  A very special weekend is devoted to First Responders and Health Care Heroes. Throughout the season and during this weekend, 100% of QR code donations will go to local fire departments, police departments, EMS and health care workers. Enjoy roaming carolers and free hot chocolate, then explore Holidays Around the World. Meet real firefighters during a Touch a Truck event, where your family can sign a thank-you banner to let local heroes know how much their service is appreciated.

12/17 – 19:  ‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas offers a rare chance for last-minute shopping during Parents Night Out on Friday evening. Drop off the kids at Oscar Lasko YMCA. (Registration required and there is a fee.) That’s all followed by gingerbread cookie decorating and family fun on Saturday, more live music and Santa delighting children as he waves to them from a fire truck.

12/31 – 01/01:  The fun pauses for Christmas weekend, but starts back up on New Year’s Weekend with your last chance to take a glowing stroll through the borough’s historic streets, and ring in the new year with signature drinks and appetizers from your favorite West Chester restaurants.

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For details on daily events, visitors should be sure to check an updated schedule at

Chester County Hospital and more than 50 local businesses are making it all possible. On Shop Small Business Weekend, special thanks goes to: Making Spirits Bright Holiday Music Series sponsor First Bank, Professional Gingerbread House Competition sponsor Delphi Wealth Management Group, Santa on the Fire Truck sponsor Tolsdorf Oil Lube Express and West Chester Downtown Foundation.

Entire blocks of the borough will be illuminated thanks to premium sponsors Benchmark Federal Credit Union, First Bank of New Jersey, Oakbourne Advisors, West Chester University, West Chester Business Improvement District and West Pharmaceutical Services. Half-block sponsors include A.J. Blosenski, Inc., CTDI, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Media One Products, Penn Oaks Golf Club, Rothman Orthopaedics, Rudloff Custom Builders and West Chester Dental Arts.

Holiday lights quarter-block sponsors include Buckley Brion Mcguire & Morris LLP, Dave’s Automotive Repair Enterprises, First Resource Bank, Fred Beans Ford of West Chester, Infiniti of West Chester, La Difference Salon & Day Spa, MacElree Harvey, Ltd., My Benefit Advisor, Northwestern Mutual, PECO, Rothwell Document Solutions, S&T Bank and WSFS Bank. Blue Dog Printing is providing digital printing support.

For additional information, visit or contact the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce at 610-696-4046, Follow the fun on Facebook & Instagram @GreaterWestChester, and on Twitter @GWCC_PA #HolidayWeekendsInWestChester

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.

This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.