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The Miracle on South 13th Street in Philadelphia returns for another Christmas

Decades-long tradition of Miracle on South 13th Street kicks off in South Philadelphia
Decades-long tradition of Miracle on South 13th Street kicks off in South Philadelphia 02:20

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A decades-long tradition has returned to South Philadelphia. An entire block on 13th Street is now illuminated in colorful holiday lights.

It's a dazzling display in the heart of South Philadelphia, and this time of year, the 1600 block of South 13th Street transforms into The Miracle on South 13th Street.

"There are honestly thousands of people that come down this block every year just to look at these lights," Christina Frazer said, "which is incredible."


Lights are strung across the street, in the trees, and each home is decked out in a different theme -- from Mario Bros. to "Home Alone" and "The Nutcracker."

Neighbors on the block started decorating the weekend after Halloween.

"We have a team of mostly seven or eight people that are out here," Sean Ferrarini said. "All neighbors that are doing it, whenever you can."

On Saturday night, families filled the block for this year's opening night block party.

"It's beautiful," Meiara Staton said. "I've never been out here before. The lights are just very nice, and it's well put together."

The festive decorations help kick off the holiday season.

Kids hopped on a train and everyone welcomed Santa Claus, who stopped to take pictures with kids young and old.


"I haven't taken a picture with my mom and Santa since I was a little kid," Danielle Jewett said, "so I'm 36 now. Great memory to make again."

Neighbors have been decorating their homes on this block for more than 20 years now. It's a popular tradition that gets larger each year, and the neighbors say it's all about giving back to the community.

"Seeing the excitement on the kids, I think it means more to us than anything," Ashley Chimenci said.

"That's what it's all about, that's what makes all of it, the time and the effort worth it," Ferrarini said. "Your heart just jumps, that's what makes everything."

It's free for families and the block will be decorated through New Year's Day.

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